Harmonizing the 2010 and 2002 Census Occupation Coding Schemes

Kari Williams , IPUMS - University of Minnesota
Sarah Flood, University of Minnesota

The study of occupations has a long history in the social sciences. The United States Census Bureau creates and updates occupation codes based on the Standard Occupation Classification System to systematically identify similar jobs and classify them into occupations. Periodic updates to occupation codes are necessary for capturing changes in occupations and appropriately reflecting the labor market. While these updates are important for capturing the changing jobs that are performed in the United States, they are changes that make it more complicated for researchers to make appropriate comparisons over time. This paper presents the methodology we use to harmonize 2010 and 2002 Census occupation codes. Our work builds upon the foundation of existing harmonized occupation data available through IPUMS, most notably the variable OCC1990. Combining our contribution with existing IPUMS infrastructure creates a consistent measure of occupation for all seven coding schemes over the 1950-2018 period.


 Presented in Session 3. Population, Development, & the Environment; Data & Methods; Applied Demography