Occupations (1): History, Methods and Summary

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1. Historical Summary.

Occupations at previous censuses

Even at so remote a period as the year 1801, the year of the first English Census, when the population of England and Wales did not exceed 8,892,536, the importance of grouping the people under broad industrial headings was recognized by the Census Authorities, and at each successive enumeration endeavours have been made to obtain more accurate, and in some cases more detailed information on this point. At the present day it may safely be stated that the portion of the Census which not only requires but, also receives the greatest consideration is that which concerns the occupational condition of the people, and the changes that have taken place in their employment from time to time.

The general method and scope of the inquiry into Occupations, and of the relative changes in connection therewith, instituted at the individual Censuses from 1801 to 1891, have been fully described in the preliminary portion of our Report. We think, however, it will be advantageous to preface our remarks on this section of our subject, with a brief history of the manner in which the present system of dealing with the Occupational, returns has been built up upon the experience of successive Censuses, and of the special efforts that have, from time to time, been made to render this difficult branch of Census Statistics more satisfactory and trustworthy.

1801 to 1831

At the first four Enumerations taken at the decennial periods from 1801 to 1831, it devolved on the Overseers to classify the people under certain Statutory heads of occupation, upon the basis of the information which they collected by personal inquiry concerning the inhabitants of their respective districts. In 1801 returns were thus obtained of the number of Persons in Great Britain according to occupation, under three heads, namely (1) those chiefly employed in agriculture, (2) those chiefly employed in. trade, manufacture or handicraft, and (3) all other persons not employed in the two. preceding classes; but it is stated that this mode of inquiry entirely failed from a want, of uniformity in enumerating the females, children and servants.

Accordingly, the system of returning the Occupations by Families instead of by Persons was introduced in 1811 and was maintained during the next two Censuses. In the course of these three Censuses, the defective classification by Families had become evident and a more precise mode of distinguishing the occupations was also deemed essential. In 1831, therefore, the return by Families was supplemented by an abstract giving (1) the numbers of Males aged 20 years and upwards under nine classes, (2) the numbers of Male Servants under 20, and of Female Servants of all ages, and (3) a "Specification" of the several occupations of Males aged 20 and upwards employed "in Retail Trade or in Handicraft as Masters or Workmen." For the purposes of this "Specification," the Overseers gave their replies on lists containing one hundred of the most usual denominations of Retail Trade and Handicraft,1 whilst the power was reserved to them of inserting such additional occupations as they found necessary; these Officers, however, made up their lists on such different principles that the Summary for England and Wales which was compiled from them was quite unreliable.


In 1841 the entire system of taking the Census was changed for a new one under which the method of returning the Occupations by Persons instead of by Families, was reverted to. Under this new system, the requisite information was collected by special Enumerators acting under the local Registrars of Births and Deaths; these Enumerators were, instructed to insert in their returns for transmission to the Central Office "each man's description of himself opposite his name." This plan, whilst it threw upon the Office the enormous task of classifying and tabulating the occupations of the people as returned by themselves, was infinitely more satisfactory than the previous one, as it enabled the work of classification to be carried out upon fixed rules and principles under the supervision of a trained Staff of Officers. This mode of procedure, as being the best practical way of obtaining and dealing with statistics bearing on the occupations of the people, has been adopted at every subsequent Census.


In 1851 further changes were introduced in the method of dealing with the occupational statistics. In the first place the Tables were extended so as to give for Males and Females a quinquennial age grouping up to 85 years. This was extended up to 100 years in 1861, but this division was found to be too elaborate, and in 1871 the age groups provided were quinquennial from 5 to 25 years, and decennial from 25 to 75 years. In 1881 the number of age groups was further reduced, one column being provided for ages between 5 and 15, and two more for vicennial periods from 25 to 65, beyond which age there was only one group. In 1891, the occupations of persons aged 10 years and upwards only were abstracted, age columns being provided for quinquennial periods up to 25 years, and for decennial periods up to 65, beyond which, as in 1881, there was only one age group.

The substitution, in 1851, of smaller age groups for the two former divisions—"under 20" and "over 20"—albeit most desirable, was not the most important innovation. In 1841, the aggregate figures for England and Wales had been returned under no fewer than 877 Occupational headings in Alphabetical Order, without any attempt at classification beyond (1) a statement showing the numbers engaged in certain Mining, Metal, and Textile Industries, as well as the numbers concerned in the manufacture of Engines and Machines, Pottery, Glass, and Gloves, and (2) a rough grouping of the occupations under 16 headings. An unclassified return, arranged alphabetically, is of little value, because kindred occupations are separated, although the line of demarcation between them is often indefinite or non-existent. In 1851, the occupational headings were arranged under 17 "Classes" with their 91 "Sub-classes" or, as they were designated in 1861, "Orders" and "Sub-orders" respectively. This system of "Orders" and "Sub-orders," in place of an Alphabetical List, has formed the basis of arrangement at every subsequent Census. Modifications of detail were introduced in 1861 and in 1871; and in 1881, besides such modifications, some very important changes were made.

Up to 1871, persons described as "retired" from any stated occupation had been classed to such occupation. In 1881 and subsequently, such retired persons (with the exception of Officers in the Army and Navy, Clergymen, and Medical Practitioners) have been included with the "Unoccupied"; as have also inmates of Workhouses over 60 years of age and inmates of Lunatic Asylums of whatever ages, on the assumption that such persons would probably be unable to resume their employment. Among other changes made at the Census in 1881, Clerks, Porters, Engine Drivers, Stokers, Carmen, &c., who had formerly been classed to the separate manufacture or trade with which their work was connected, were collected under the headings "Commercial Clerk," "Messenger, Porter," &c. The several other changes, although tending to a more scientific classification of occupations, seriously reduced the value of comparisons between the figures for 1881 and those for earlier Censuses. Some further alterations of a less important nature were effected in 1891, and are summarized in the Report on that Census (Vol. IV., pp. 133-5).


In the course of the preparation for the Census of 1901, urgent representations having been submitted to us by the Home Office and the Board of Trade to the effect that certain further changes in our classification would greatly enhance the value, for legislative and administrative purposes, of the Occupational Statistics collected at the Census, we had several conferences with the representatives of those Departments. The suggestions made were examined with the object of meeting the views expressed and of bringing our Statistics into closer harmony with those issued by the Departments represented. In the result, our classification has been again to a considerable extent recast, changes being, in some cases, made solely from a desire to meet the wishes of the State Departments concerned and without any great expectation on our part that the result would prove satisfactory.

The number of Occupational Headings which had varied from Census to Census and had been 347 in 1891 has, in this way, been augmented to 382, and this total would have been greatly exceeded had not many numerically small occupations been deleted in order to provide for the further sub-division of certain important industries, and for the separate tabulation of others, which had formerly been included under some general heading. Thus, Coal and Shale Miners are now, for the first time, separately classed as "Hewers," as "Other workers below ground," or as "Workers above ground." Persons engaged in Iron Manufacture are differentiated as employed in "Blast Furnaces," in "Puddling Furnaces and Rolling Mills," in "Steel Smelting and Founding," in "Iron Founding," and in the manufacture of certain specific Iron articles. Generally, workers in metals are separately described as Producers of the Metals themselves, or of Goods made from the Metals. Workers in Cotton, Wool, and Silk are so sub-divided as to distinguish between "Spinning Processes," "Weaving Processes," and "Other or Undefined Processes"; while in the Cotton Manufacture, those engaged in "Card and Blowing Boom Processes "and" Winding, Warping, &c., Processes," and in the Wool Manufacture, those engaged in "Sorting Processes," and "Combing Processes," are also shown separately. In addition to this sub-division, an attempt has been made to separate "Dealers" (i.e. persons engaged mainly in distribution) from "Makers," and, in certain cases, Skilled Artisans from Labourers, although the records of previous experience did not lead us to anticipate that these efforts would yield useful results. At the request of the Departments before mentioned we have sought information for the first time as to the number of people in certain industries working in their own homes; and we continue to give statistics as to "Employers," "Working for Employers," and "Working on own Account," notwithstanding that the result of a previous attempt to do this in 1891 was held to be "excessively untrustworthy."

It was evident that, with more detailed classification, special efforts would be necessary to ensure the collection of accurate statements of occupation, and our attention was in this way directed to the causes which had impaired the results of previous inqueries. These are set forth in considerable detail in the Reports of 1881 and 1891; the main difficulty, as stated in the latter Report, arising from the inaccurate manner in which educated as well as uneducated persons often describe their calling. The instructions on the Schedules for 1901 were, therefore, framed with the view of attracting the attention of Occupiers to any portion which might directly concern them, and, as a supplementary precaution, there were circulated among all the Enumerators and other persons engaged in making or revising the returns, copies of a Memorandum containing a list of the insufficient descriptions commonly met with, together with examples of the amended descriptions required.2

The Board of Education rendered us good service by inviting the co-operation of the Managers and Teachers of Public Elementary Schools thoroughout England and Wales. They issued a circular intimating that an event of such national importance might propurly form the subject of special lessons and lectures in the Schools, and in the case of the elder children these lessons might be turned to practical advantage by promoting the accurate filling-up of the Census Schedules in the families to which these children belonged. The Board also enclosed Schedules and Memoranda, drawn up by the Census Office, indicating the points upon which instruction might advantageously be given. This instruction, extended to the Evening Schools, was useful as tending to interest both the children and their parents.

The Board of Agriculture were good enough to issue a special Memorandum to Agriculturists directing attention to the subject. Assistance was also rendered by the Press in pointing out that the statements on the Schedules would be treated as confidential, and in emphasizing the instructions relating to the trades or industries of particular districts. We have no doubt that the measures thus adopted have secured greater accuracy in the present returns than in those of any previous Census.

Apart from changes of classification, we have introduced important modifications in the Form of the Occupation Tables. These now show for England and Wales as a whole in the Summary Volume, and for London, Lancashire, and Yorkshire in the County Parts, the numbers of occupied Males and Females in ten groups of ages—children between 10 and 15 years of age being now divided into two groups, 10 and under 14, and 14 and under 15, while the age group 65 to 75, which since the Census of 1871 had been merged in the group 65 years and upwards, has been re-instated; furthermore, the returns dealing with Females distinguish the Unmarried from the Married or Widowed. Supplementary Tables show the occupations of children aged 10 and under 14 under individual years of age, and of "Pensioners" and "Retired" according to their former occupations. In 1891 occupational figures were published (1) for Registration Counties and (2) for Urban Districts with populations exceeding 50,000. On the present occasion, no Tables are given for Registration Counties, but we give for Administrative Counties, County Boroughs, Urban Districts exceeding 5,000 in population, and the Aggregates of Urban and Rural Districts respectively, the most useful information, as it appears to us, concerning the industrial life of the people.

2. Process of Tabulation.

A Dictionary of Occupations

Preliminary to the work of tabulating these particulars, it was necessary to prepare the raw material in the Enumeration Books. To secure that the many thousands of designations, under which persons return themselves, should be classified upon uniform principles, there was issued to the clerks engaged in the classification a Book of Instructions indicating the main features and principles of classification and containing lists of the subsidiary occupations included under each heading, and an alphabetical index of occupational names, with a statement against each as to the heading to which it should be referred. In 1881 the principles of classification had been (as already stated) very extensively changed, so that it was then found necessary to issue a new list of occupations. This list with minor alterations was used, in 1891 also, but in 1901, owing to the subdivision of large industries, and the radical changes of classification, it became indispensable that a revised list should be prepared. The compilation of a Dictionary of occupations, containing over 15,000 designations, classified and indexed, entails much labour and moreover demands much technical knowledge. We are therefore indebted to the Home Office, the Board of Trade, and the Board of Agriculture, as well as to numerous Employers of Labour and Secretaries of Trade Societies, for the valuable assistance they rendered to us in this important and difficult part of our task.

Method of Abstracting

A number of trained clerks, by the assistance of this Dictionary, and of information specially obtained from Registrars as to local industries, then edited or "coded" in the Enumeration books, marking every occupation in such a way as to show to which of the headings on the sheet it belonged. For abstracting these particulars, sheets were prepared on paper 40 inches by 26 inches, ruled and cross-ruled in more than 5,000 compartments (the sheets used in 1881 having contained fewer than half that number), and auxiliary sheets, about a quarter of the size, for noting, among other things, the particulars relating to the larger industries. The use of these sheets and the previous "coding" of the occupations enabled female as well as male clerks to abstract the occupations without undue fatigue, and after practice with remarkable accuracy. Without detailing the precautions taken to check systematically the original coding, to scrutinize doubtful entries, and generally to secure uniformity and accuracy, both in this and in the subsequent processes of tabulation, we may say that we have good grounds for believing that the margin of error is insignificant.

Tabular results

The separate Volume for each County contains occupation statistics in various detail in Tables numbered 32 to 35, with an additional Table (35A) in the case of all but a few of the smallest Counties. In the Summary Volume, Tables XXXV. to XLIII. show the figures for England and Wales with considerable detail as to sex, age, locality, and other particulars. In the Appendix to the present Volume, digested statistics, mainly derived from the figures in the Summary Volume, are given in Tables 29 to 35.

Proportional bases

The selection of a standard to which proportions should be referred may be noted as a point of practical importance affecting the clearness of digested statistics. For example, the proportion of occupied persons in the population may be stated, either in relation to population at all ages, or in relation to population within some defined limits of age; the proportions may be given either without distinction of sex or else for males and females separately; if the latter the proportions of unmarried and married or widowed females may be based either on the total number of females or on the numbers of unmarried and married or widowed females respectively. Each plan has its advantages and its disadvantages; some lines of inquiry would be best served by one and some by another. It is therefore desirable to specify the plan we have adopted as most convenient for our present purpose. There are four Tables in Appendix A. (Tables 29-32) in which the numbers occupied are stated as proportions of some total. Tables 29 and 30 relate to males and females respectively in certain groups of occupations; we have taken 10,000 males aged 10 years and upwards as the standard of comparison in the first, and 10,000 females at the same ages as the standard in the second of these Tables. Table 31 relates to unmarried and married or widowed females at various ages who were engaged in occupations; we have taken 100 unmarried females in each of the several age-groups as the standard of comparison for unmarried females, and 100 married or widowed females in each group as the standard of comparison for married or widowed females. Table 32 relates to boys and girls between 10 and 15 years of age who were engaged in occupations; for each separate year of age or group of ages dealt with we have made the total number of each sex living at such age the standard of comparison. When it may be necessary to quote proportions in the remarks that follow, we shall generally adhere to the plan adopted in these Tables; any divergence from this rule being carefully indicated.

General Summary of Results.

Proportions occupied

The tabulated Statistics of occupations are limited to the 12,134,259 Males and 13,189,585 Females who were returned as over 10 years of age. A few children under this age were indeed stated to be employed in occupations, but the numbers were too small to have any statistical value. Of the 12,134,259 Males, 10,156,976, or 83.7 per cent., were returned as engaged in occupations, 3 and the remaining 1.977,283, or 16.3 per cent., without specified occupations, or as unoccupied. Of the 13,189,585 Females, 4,171,751, or 31.6 per cent., were returned as engaged in occupations, and the remaining 9,017,834, or 68.4 per cent., as engaged in no definite occupation. In the following Table these proportions are shown in comparison with those derived from, the Report on the Census of 1891; the corresponding proportions of Unmarried and of Married or Widowed women at the recent Census are also shown:—

1891. 1901. 1891. 1901.
Total. Total. Unmarried. Married or
Occupied 83.1 83.7 34.4 31.6 52.3 13.2
Without Specified Occupations or Unocccupied 16.9 16.3 65.6 68.4 47.7 86.8
Total 100.0 100.0 100.0 100.0 100.0 100.0

The figures for 1901 show a slight increase in the proportion of occupied Males, but a remarkable decrease in the proportion of occupied Females. Careful investigation has revealed a cause, which is worthy of notice here, since it illustrates the danger of hasty comparisons between figures compiled at different times. It appears that the greater part of the decrease among females has occurred under Domestic Indoor Service. Some part of this decrease is only apparent, as will appear from the following explanation:—In 1881, and at earlier Censuses, daughters and other female relatives of the Head of a Family, who were described as assisting in household duties, were classified among the unoccupied. In 1891, however, it was considered that, the nature of the daily occupations of such persons being thus evident, they would be properly reckoned as in Domestic Service. As in many other questions of statistical classification, there is much to be said in favour of either view; and when a precedent has been set at one Census there is obvious convenience in following it at the next. In deciding on the rules for the guidance of the clerks at the recent Census we, however, came to the conclusion that on the whole it would be better to revert to the method of 1881.

To some unknown extent, then, the figures relating to females in domestic service in 1891 are not properly comparable with those for other Censuses. In the following Table the proportions of females above 10 years of age who were classed as Domestic Servants at the Censuses of 1891 and 1901 respectively are shown separately from the proportions classed to other occupations:—

1891. 1901.
Total. Total. Unmarried. Married or
In occupations other than Domestic Indoor Service 22.3 21.5 32.5 11.8
In Domestic Indoor Service 12.1 10.1 19.8 1.4
Without Specified Occupations, or Unoccupied 65.6 68.4 47.7 86.8
Total 100.0 100.0 100.0 100.0

It will be understood that, according to the principles of classification adopted in 1901, some portion of the 12.1 per cent. classed as in Domestic Service in 1891 should be transferred to the heading "Unoccupied."

Proportions occupied at several ages

The proportions of occupied persons vary greatly with age. Among Males they differ but little in the four age-groups between 20 and 55 years, the actual maximum being reached at the group 25-35. Among Females in the aggregate the highest proportion (whether Domestic Service be included or not) is at ages 15-20, when only a small proportion of Females are married; but if the figures for Unmarried and for Married or Widowed women be examined separately, the maximum proportion occupied will be found at ages 20-25 among the former and at ages 55-65 among the latter. The following Table shows the proportions per cent., returned as engaged in Occupations, at several age-groups in 1891 and in 1901:—

Ages Males. Females.
1891. 1901. Including Domestic
Indoor Service.
Excluding Domestic
Indoor Service.
1891. 1901. 1891. 1901.
Total Total Unma-
or Wid-
Total Total Unma-
or Wid-
10-15 26.0 21.9 16.3 12.0 12.0 9.7 8.2 8.2
15-20 91.2 91.8 68.6 65.9 66.7 11.9 38.3 41.5 42.0 11.4
20-25 96.9 97.4 57.8 56.3 73.5 10.9 33.3 35.0 44.4 10.3
25-35 97.9 98.3 33.0 30.5 70.2 10.0 21.7 20.4 42.1 9.2
35-45 97.5 97.8 25.1 22.5 64.1 13.1 19.1 17.1 40.3 11.8
45-55 95.8 96.1 25.4 21.7 57.2 16.0 20.3 17.2 36.3 14.1
55-65 89.7 89.0 24.4 20.7 44.6 17.5 20.0 16.9 28.9 15.3
65-75 } 64.8 60.6 { 68.9 } 16.0 13.2 { 15.7 26.1 14.4 } 13.2 11.3 { 13.3 17.8 12.7
75 and
39.0 7.5 10.3 7.2 6.5 7.2 6.4

The Table shows distinct decrease in the proportions of occupied Males under 15 years and over 56 years of age. In the former case the change is probably due in great measure to the operation of the Education Acts; in the latter case it may be due either to diminished employment of old men, or to more precise information as to the "Retired." At ages between 15 and 55 years the changes are consistently in the direction of increase. Among Females the comparison is complicated by the exceptional treatment of the heading "Domestic Indoor Service" in the Report for 1891. If this heading be included, the proportions occupied appear to have been higher at all age-groups in 1891 than in 1901. If, however, domestic servants be excluded from both sets of figures, the returns for 1901 show an increase over those for the preceding Census in the proportions occupied at ages 15 to 25; but a decrease at every age group above 25 years. Thus there appears to have been, in occupations other than domestic indoor service, a substitution of younger for older women. There is a further point of great interest and importance connected with this change. The majority of females at ages under 25 are unmarried, while the majority at ages 25 and upwards are either married or widowed. It may therefore be considered highly probable that the substitution of females below 25 years of age for females above that age indicates also a substitution of the unmarried, or widowed, and consequently a decrease in the employment of the latter.

Proportions occupied in Urban and Rural Districts

Comparison of the figures for the Urban and Rural Districts of the country, taken as aggregates, shows a slightly higher proportion of occupied males and a much higher proportion of occupied females in the former than in the latter. Further divergences are shown when the proportions for unmarried an for married or widowed females, and for separate age-groups of both sexes are examined. The proportions per cent returned as occupied in 1901 will be seen from the following Table:—

Males. Females. Males. Females.
Total. Unmar-
Total. Unmar-
All ages above 10 years 84.1 33.6 55.0 14.1 82.5 24.8 42.3 9.9
10-15 21.5 12.9 12.9 22.9 9.3 9.3
15-20 91.8 68.5 69.4 13.6 91.9 55.8 56.5 4.0
20-25 97.5 58.3 76.2 12.2 96.9 47.6 62.1 4.6
25-35 98.5 31.9 73.1 11.1 97.5 24.4 58.7 5.6
35-45 98.1 24.0 67.1 14.3 96.8 17.2 53.5 8.6
45-55 96.3 23.0 59.6 17.3 95.3 17.2 49.5 12.0
55-65 88.3 21.7 46.0 18.4 90.7 17.7 40.4 14.8
65-75 65.0 15.9 26.2 14.6 76.8 15.2 25.8 14.0
75 and upwards 33.9 7.0 9.6 6.6 46.5 8.6 12.1 8.2

The higher proportion of occupied males in urban districts is limited to ages between 20 and 55 years. At ages 15-20 years the scale is turned in favour of the rural districts by the large numbers of farmers' sons who were returned as assisting on the farms, and at ages under 15 years the excess in the rural districts is mainly due to the same cause. The rapid decrease of the occupied proportion in the urban districts after 55 years of age is noteworthy. It appears that, not only are there smaller proportions of men beyond middle age in towns than in the country, but that of those smaller proportions fewer are able to continue their employments.

The proportions of occupied females were higher in the urban than in the rural districts at all age-groups up to 75 years; and this was the case "both among the unmarried and among the married or widowed. Relatively the difference was marked among the latter.

Proportions occupied in Administrative Counties and County Boroughs

The proportions of occupied to total males over ten years of age varied considerably in several Administrative Counties and County Borough, the proportions ranging (see Appendix A, Table 29) from 78.7 per cent. in Surrey, and 78.9 in Rutlandshire to 86.1 in West Riding of Yorkshire, and 87.0 in Glamorganshire, and from 76.0 in Bournemouth to 88.7 in Rochdale. After Bournemouth the County Boroughs showing the lowest proportions of occupied males were Hastings, Great Yarmouth, Bath, Oxford, Portsmouth, Brighton, Croydon, Plymouth, Exeter and Bristol in the order given, the percentage in the last named being 81.5; the highest proportions occurred in certain County Boroughs situated in Lancashire and Yorkshire; in all the following places the proportions ranged between 86.5 and 88.7 per cent.—Leicester, Stockport, Leeds, Birmingham. Bury, Blackburn, Sheffield, Oldham, Burnley, Huddersfield, Barrow-in-Furness, Bolton, Bradford, Halifax and Rochdale. In Bournemouth, at one end of the scale, the occupied males were rather more; than three times as many as the unoccupied; in Rochdale, at the other end, they wore nearly eight times as many.4 Moreover, with the exception that Blackburn shown a percentage of 97.5 occupied at ages 15 to 20 as against 96.6 at 45 to 55, all the Boroughs named above agree in showing the highest proportions of occupied males at the four age groups between 20 and 55 years. The variations are, however, on a smaller scale for these age groups than for all ages above 10 taken together and, as might be expected, the greatest variations occur at ages under 15, and at ages over 65 years, although those at the age-groups 15 to 20 and 55 to 65 are considerable.

In nine of the eleven boroughs named above as showing the lowest proportions of occupied males, the proportions occupied at ages 10-13, 13 and 14 are also below the average for England and Wales (Appendix A. Table 32), while at ages 15 to 20 the percentages in no case exceed 90.4 as against 91.8 for the whole country. Again, at ages 45 and upwards the proportions in these towns are, with trifling exceptions, below the average, and in all cases they decrease regularly at the later age periods.

Among the fifteen County Boroughs which show the highest proportions per cent. of occupied males the divergences at the earlier and later ages are remarkable and instructive, as may be seen from the following Table:—

County Borough. Total. 10— 13— 14— 15— 20— 25— 35— 45— 55— 65— 75 &
Rochdale 88.7 12.6 66.1 86.2 96.6 98.4 98.9 98.9 97.5 90.0 66.8 33.7
Halifax 88.6 17.8 71.5 84.0 96.6 98.8 99.2 98.8 97.4 88.4 58.1 24.0
Bradford 88.5 12.0 68.7 84.4 95.6 98.2 99.0 98.8 97.6 90.5 66.6 33.1
Bolton 88.3 12.2 72.4 87.4 97.0 98.5 99.2 99.1 97.6 88.3 67.2 32.8
Barrow in Furness 88.3 0.6 29.4 68.8 95.2 98.9 99.4 98.8 98.9 95.4 77.2 37.1
Huddersfield 88.1 2.2 58.1 81.4 95.3 98.1 99.0 99.1 97.4 88.2 65.2 34.3
Burnley 88.1 15.6 76.4 89.8 96.5 98.7 99.4 99.2 97.0 85.8 54.5 26.8
Oldham 88.0 10.4 68.5 90.0 96.7 98.4 98.8 98.8 97.6 87.0 58.6 25.2
Sheffield 87.6 0.9 49.6 79.9 95.6 98.4 99.0 99.0 97.9 93.4 70.8 36.0
Blackburn 87.3 15.2 74.3 88.5 97.5 98.6 99.2 98.7 96.6 83.5 56.0 28.0
Bury 87.1 9.1 60.5 85.9 96.2 98.7 98.9 99.1 97.5 85.4 54.2 17.5
Birmingham 86.7 1.0 47.9 80.7 95.4 98.1 99.0 99.0 97.7 92.6 73.2 42.3
Leeds 86.6 0.7 54.5 80.8 94.9 97.9 98.8 98.7 97.6 90.5 66.7 32.3
Stockport 86.6 6.3 58.8 80.8 95.4 98.7 99.1 99.0 96.8 88.0 61.9 29.6
Leicester 86.5 2.2 63.4 83.7 96.3 98.5 98.8 98.2 96.4 89.1 67.3 34.8

At ages under 15 the variations are due mainly to the character of the prevailing industries but partly to local administration of certain provisions of the Education Acts. The demand for the labour of boys in local industries is roughly measured by the proportions occupied at 14-15 years of age; while variations in the administration of the Education Acts are shown by the varying proportions occupied at ages 10-13 and 13-14. Barrow in Furness, Huddersfield, Sheffield, Birmingham, Leeds and Leicester are instances of towns in which the proportions of boys between 10 and 13 years of age returned as occupied are below the average proportion (2.3 per cent.) for the whole country. Rochdale, Halifax, Bradford, Bolton, Burnley, Oldham and Blackburn, on the other hand are conspicuous for proportions in all cases exceeding 10 per cent., and in one case (Halifax) reaching 17.8 per cent. A remarkable fact in connection with the excessive amount of child labour in some of the towns shown in the foregoing Table—notably Burnley, Oldham, Blackburn and Bury—is that the proportions of occupied males at ages over 55 years are exceptionally low. Whether this indicates an actual substitution of young boys for men beyond middle age, or whether it is capable of less serious explanation, the Census statistics give no means of determining.

In the case of females, the proportions occupied in the Administrative Counties and County Boroughs may be seen from Appendix A, Table 30, The local variations are much greater than in the case of males, ranging from 16.2 per cent. in Durham Administrative County to 56.8 in Blackburn County Borough. The lowest proportions are naturally found in districts where the prevailing industries are such as can only be followed by males. For example, there are very low proportions of occupied females in the County Boroughs of Middlesbrough, St. Helens, South Shields, Gateshead, Barrow in Furness, Sunderland, West Bromwich, Burton upon Trent, and Devonport, the proportions being considerably below the average for England and Wales both among the unmarried and the married or widowed.

It is among those County Boroughs in which textile manufactures are largely carried on that the highest proportions of occupied females are generally found. Of 15 County Boroughs in which the proportions occupied over 10 years of age were 40 per cent. or more, no fewer than 13 are important textile centres, the two exceptions being Bournemouth and Bath, and in these the majority of the occupied females were engaged in Domestic Offices or Services. In the 13 textile towns the percentage of unmarried females engaged in occupations ranged from 76.5 in Blackburn to 67.7 in Nottingham (see Appendix A, Table 31), but the proportions of married or widowed women who were occupied varied considerably more. Nevertheless Blackburn, with the highest proportion of occupied unmarried females over 10 years of age, also had the highest proportion (37.9 per cent.) of occupied married or widowed women. In Burnley, Preston, Bury and Rochdale the proportions of the unmarried ranged from 75.4 to 73.7, the proportions of the married or widowed being 33.8, 30.5, 25.6 and 23.0 respectively. In Bolton and Oldham more than 70 per cent. of the unmarried were occupied, but the proportions occupied of the married or widowed were only 15.1 and 20.0 per cent. respectively. In the Yorkshire towns of Halifax, Bradford and Huddersfield the proportions of the unmarried who were engaged in occupations were 72.3, 71.5 and 69.4 respectively; but Bradford was the only one of these towns in which the proportion of the married or widowed who were occupied (18.1 per cent.) exceeded the average for England and Wales. The two remaining Boroughs of the 13 are Leicester and Stockport; in the former 69.8 per cent. of the unmarried and 25.2 per cent. of the married or widowed were occupied, and in the latter the proportions were 68.1 and 23.7 per cent. respectively. These 13 textile towns, which had the largest proportions of occupied women, also stand at the head of the list in regard to the proportion of occupied girls under 15 years of age, and at the individual years 14 and 13 (see Appendix A, Tables 31 and 32). In England and Wales the average proportion of girls 10-15 years of age who were engaged in occupations was 12.0 per cent.; among the 13 County Boroughs above referred to it ranged from 24.4 in Nottingham up to 39.5 per cent. in Halifax, 39.9 in Burnley and 40.3 in Blackburn. At 14 and 13 years of age respectively, the proportions ranged from 70.8 and 42.6 per cent. in Nottingham, to 83.8 and 73.3 per cent. in Burnley and 85.1 and 68.4 per cent. in Blackburn.; but at ages 10 to 13, while 16.4 per cent. were occupied in Blackburn, 14.4 per cent. in Halifax and 14.3 per cent. in Burnley, the proportions in Leicester, Nottingham and Huddersfield were each less than 1 per cent.

The highest proportions of occupied married or widowed women in the County Boroughs are, however, exceeded by those in some of the smaller towns, as may be seen from Table 35 A. of the County Parts. Such are:—

Towns. Proportion per
cent. of Married
or Widowed
Women Occupied.
Principal Occupations.
Redditch 43.3 Needle, Pin; Fishing Tackle, &c.—Manufactures
Great Harwood 41.7 Cotton Manufacture
Nantwich 40.1 Tailoring
Luton 40.0 Straw Hat Manufacture (chiefly "working at home")
Darwen 39.1 Cotton Manufacture
Barnoldswick 38.6 Cotton Manufacture

An examination of the proportions occupied at the different age groups in Blackburn— the County Borough, which, as already explained, has the largest proportions occupied both of unmarried and of married or widowed women—shows that the proportion of unmarried females who were occupied exceeded 90 per cent. in every age group between 15 and 35 years, while that of married or widowed women was still more exceptional, reaching 66.5 per cent. at ages 20-25, 53.5 per cent. at 25-35, and 39.4 per cent. at 35-45. Most of these women are employed away from their homes in cotton factories, and consequently are unable to give proper care to their children. The inevitable neglect from which these latter must suffer in their earliest years cannot be regarded as a suitable preparation for their own premature employment as wage-earners.

The question naturally arises whether the employment of married or widowed women in manufacturing towns has increased or decreased during recent years. No direct answer to this question can, of course, be furnished; but some light may be indirectly thrown on it if the changes in the proportions of occupied women at age-groups in which spinsters predominate be compared with the changes at age-groups in which the married or widowed predominate. By way of illustration, such a comparison is made in the following Table, in respect of a few of the Boroughs that have been referred to in the preceding paragraphs. The Table shows for 1901 and 1891 the proportions per cent. of females at several age-groups who were engaged in occupations other than domestic indoor service:—

County Borough. Year. 10 Years
10— 15— 20— 25— 35— 45— 55— 65
Blackburn { 1901 53.2 39.8 86.7 80.8 63.1 45.4 29.7 18.6 9.9
1891 57.2 56.9 88.4 81.1 64.6 46.8 30.9 21.7 11.6
Burnley { 1901 49.8 39.4 87.7 77.9 56.3 39.1 24.3 14.7 7.6
1891 52.9 48.8 87.8 77.0 58.0 40.1 27.9 16.9 10.3
Stockport { 1901 40.1 25.2 78.1 64.3 41.5 31.6 25.0 20.9 12.0
1891 45.9 36.8 79.1 68.2 46.1 36.3 33.2 25.5 15.6
Bradford* { 1901 39.0 34.1 78.1 62.9 38.3 27.6 21.8 16.8 8.9
1891 43.1 42.2 76.7 63.5 42.3 30.7 26.4 20.4 11.7
Halifax { 1901 36.7 38.6 80.3 63.8 33.9 22.7 18.1 14.9 6.9
1891 41.0 54.7 79.1 61.1 36.2 25.6 22.0 16.9 9.5
Leicester { 1901 41.0 25.1 77.4 64.7 41.1 29.3 24.7 21.1 13.3
1891 41.0 23.0 73.7 61.6 41.3 31.9 28.0 25.5 15.4
Nottingham { 1901 38.8 22.3 73.2 56.1 34.9 31.5 29.4 28 18.5
1891 37.5 18.2 63.9 54.2 36.8 31.5 32.4 30.3 19.3
* The County Borough of Bradford was enlarged between the Censuses of 1891 and 1901; but, the added areas being similar in industrial conditions to the older portion of the Borough, the figures in the Table may be regarded as fairly comparable.

At ages below 25 years the large majority of women are unmarried, and at these ages most of the towns show some increase since 1891 in the proportions occupied. At ages above 35 years, on the other hand, the majority are either married or widowed, and not one of the towns shows an increase, while some show a distinct decrease, in the proportions occupied at these ages. It is not, perhaps, a necessary inference, but it is at least a probable one, that where the substitution of younger for older females as workers has occurred, it has involved a decrease in the proportion of married or widowed women employed.

Summary of occupations in Urban and Rural Districts

We have already explained that the many thousands of terms by which people describe their occupations have been grouped for statistical tabulation under slightly fewer than 400 headings. In this form the figures are convenient for examination in detail; but for the purposes of a general survey a more condensed form, such for example as is used for Tables 29 and 30 in Appendix A. to this Report is necessary. In these Tables the occupations of Males and of Females are each grouped under 37 headings;5 and in this way the relative proportions employed in several kinds of occupations are shown at a glance for all the Administrative Counties and County Boroughs in England and Wales. The two following Tables show the occupations in a still more compressed form, together with the variations in the nature of employment as between the aggregate of all Urban and the aggregate of all Rural Districts; the figures in each column of the Tables are proportions per 10,000 living at ages 10 years and upwards.


Occupations. England and
of Urban
of Rural
General or Local Government 141 157 90
Defence of the Country 139 158 77
Professional Occupations and their Subordinate Services 257 279 185
Domestic Outdoor Service 148 82 361
Domestic Indoor and Other Services 102 106 92
Commercial Occupations 437 531 136
Conveyance of Men, Goods, and Messages 1,029 1,167 583
Agriculture—On Farms, Woods, and Gardens 883 209 3,063
Workers in and about Mines and Quarries 638 543 946
Workers in Metals, Machines, Implements and Conveyances 942 1,096 444
Building and Works of Construction 859 906 709
Workers in Wood, Furniture, Fittings, and Decorations 169 199 70
Workers in Paper, Prints, Books, and Stationery 123 151 34
Workers in Textile Fabrics 330 403 100
Workers and Dealers in Dress (including Drapers, Linen Drapers, Mercers) 397 457 202
Food, Tobacco, Drink, and Lodging 638 703 428
General Labourers; Factory Labourers (undefined) 357 377 294
Engine Drivers, Strokers, Firemen (not Railway, Marine, or Agricultural) 88 91 76
Other Workers 455 511 263
Other Dealers 238 281 98
Total Occupied 8,370 8,407 8,251
Unoccupied 1,630 1,593 1,749
Total 10,000 10,000 10,000


Occupations. England and Wales. Aggregate of Urban Districts. Aggregate of Rural Districts.
Total Unmar-
Total Unmar-
Total Unmar-
Sick Nurses, Midwives, and Invalid Attendants 51 60 43 54 64 46 39 45 34
Teaching 131 256 19 129 254 16 138 263 32
Other Professional Occupations, including General or Local Government 61 102 24 66 112 24 45 69 24
Domestic Indoor Service 1,009 1,984 137 967 1,878 140 1,159 2,372 127
Charwomen 85 41 124 93 43 139 55 33 74
Laundry and Washing Service 149 139 157 154 145 161 132 117 144
Others engaged in Service 39 50 30 41 50 33 32 48 19
Commercial, Bank, Insurance and Law Clerks, 43 90 2 53 109 3 9 18
Shopkeepers, Dealers, and others engaged in Commercial Pursuits (including Assistants):—                  
  Dealers in Dress (including Drapers, Linen Drapersm Mercers) 66 120 18 78 140 21 27 48 10
  Dealers in Food 87 92 82 94 103 86 62 54 69
  Others 68 83 55 80 99 63 25 24 25
Agriculture—On Farms, Woods, and Gardens:—                  
  Farmers, Graziers 16 6 26 3 1 4 65 24 100
  Others 28 47 10 8 12 4 96 174 29
Workers in Metals, Machines, Implements and Conveyances 45 74 20 54 88 23 14 22 7
Workers in Paper, Prints, Books and Stationery 57 104 15 68 125 17 16 27 6
Workers in Textile Fabrics 450 732 197 536 866 237 143 240 60
Workers in Dress 524 867 218 581 958 240 324 535 143
Workers in Food 25 46 6 31 57 7 5 9 2
Board, Lodging, and Dealing in Spirituous Drinks 94 109 82 107 128 88 53 43 61
Other Workers 135 225 53 160 269 62 38 65 20
Total Occupied 3,163 5,227 1,318 3,357 5,501 1,414 2,477 4,230 986
Unoccupied 6,837 4,773 8,682 6,643 4,499 8,586 7,523 5,770 9,014
Total 10,000 10,000 10,000 10,000 10,000 10,000 10,000 10,000 10,000

The most notable heading in the Table for Males is "Agriculture"; for, although this ranks only third in numerical importance in the country as a whole, it employs more than 30 per cent. of all the males over 10 years of age in Rural Districts. Other headings of importance are those relating to Conveyance, to Metal work, Textile Fabrics, Dress and Food, all of which belong more especially to Urban than to Rural Districts; those relating to Mining and Out-door Domestic Service, in which greater proportions of rural than of urban residents are engaged; and the heading "Building and Works of Construction," which employs considerable numbers in both classes of districts.

In the Table for Females by far the most important heading is "Domestic Indoor Service." If to this be added the three headings relating to other forms of service, we have a group of occupations which employ one-eighth of all the females over 10 years of age in Urban Districts and nearly one-seventh of those in Rural Districts. The proportion of unmarried females over 10 years of age employed in this group of occupations exceeds one-fifth in Urban Districts and one-fourth in Rural Districts. Only a little below this group in point of numerical importance is that relating to textile fabrics and dress; these occupations are, however, mainly localised in towns and employ comparatively small proportions of the rural populations.

In the case of Males the large majority over 10 years of age, as has been shown, are returned as engaged in occupations; in the case of females, on the other hand, fewer than one-third are so returned; and the proportion of unmarried females who are occupied greatly exceeds the corresponding proportion of the married or widowed. On this account a further analysis of the figures for females, based, not as in Table 30, on the total numbers living, but on the total numbers occupied seems desirable. This departure from the general rule will enable us to show more clearly the relative distributions of unmarried and married or widowed women among various occupations.

Occupations of females

The avocations of the 4,171,751 females over 10 years of age who were returned as occupied may be briefly summarised under a few general headings:—About 40 per cent. of them were employed in domestic and other services; 16 per cent in making articles of dress; 14 per cent. in textile manufactures; 8 per cent. in various other manufactures; 7 per cent as shopkeepers, shop assistants, &c.; 4 per cent in teaching; and 3 per cent in services connected with hotels, inns, boarding houses, eating houses, &c.; leaving only about 7 per cent in all other occupations. The proportions are set out more precisely and in greater detail in the following Table:—

Occupations. Proportions per 10,000 Occupied. Of 10,000 Occupied, the pro-
portions returned as Working
in certain Occupations at Home.
Total. Un-
Total. Un-
Domestic Offices or Services—            
  Domestic Indoor Service (A) 3,190 3,796 1,041
  Charwomen (C) 268 78 942
  Laundry and Washing Service (C) 470 266 1,195 175 69 552
  Others engaged in Service (C) 125 95 229
Dealers and others in Commercial Pursuits—            
  Commercial, Bank, Insurance, and Law Clerks (A.) 137 171 16
  Shopkeepers, Dealers, &c, including Assistants (C) 700 566 1,178
Industrial Occupations—            
  Textile Fabrics (B) 1,421 1,400 1,496 47 26 121
  Articles of Dress (B) 1,658 1,659 1,655 613 495 1,031
  Paper, Prints, Books, and Stationery (A) 180 198 113 6 3 16
  Other Workers (B) 598 612 551 30 14 88
Attendance on the Sick (C) 161 114 328
Teaching (A) 414 490 147
Board, Lodging, and Dealing in Spirituous Drinks (C) 300 209 621
All other Occupations (C) 378 346 488
Total Occupied 10,000 10,000 10,000

Columns have been added to the Table showing, for certain of the occupational groups, the proportions of females who were returned as "Working at Home." This particular has not been tabulated for all occupations; for in many cases the information is implied by the nature of the occupation itself; and in some others it has no special significance. But in connection with industrial employments it is both interesting and important.

Each of the occupational headings in the Table is distinguished by one or other of the letters A, B, C. Under (A) are included Domestic Indoor Servants, Clerks and Teachers, and those engaged in the Manufacture of Paper, Prints, Books and Stationery; under (B) those engaged in Industrial Occupations excepting Paper, &c. Manufacture; and under (C) all other "occupied" females. If the headings be grouped according to these letters, the occupations of 10,000 unmarried females and of 10,000 married or widowed females will be shown as follows:—

Unmarried. Married
Group (A) 4,655 1,317
Group (B) 3,671 3,702
Group (C) 1,674 4,981
  10,000 10,000

Thus about 37 per cent of the occupied unmarried females and 37 per cent of the occupied married females were engaged in one or other of a defined group of Industrial Occupations. The remaining 63 per cent. of each class were divided into two very unequal portions; the largest portion of the unmarried and the smallest portion of the married were engaged in another defined group, and the remainder of each class in a third group, of occupations.

The small numbers returned as working at home in the Manufactures of Textile Fabrics come mainly under the headings Hosiery Manufacture, Lace Manufacture, Fancy Goods Manufacture, and Silk Weaving; only about one per 1,000 of those employed in the Cotton, Flax, Wool, and Worsted Manufactures were so returned. Naturally, larger proportions of the married and widowed than of the unmarried are returned as working at home. A few figures selected from Table XXXV. of the Summary Volume will exemplify this:—

Unmarried. Married or Widowed.
working at
working at
Hosiery Manufacture 27,089 2,917 7,392 2,612
Lace Manufacture 14,960 2,155 8,847 5,221
Fancy Goods (Textile), Small Ware, &c., Manufacture 14,268 1,971 2,847 1,069
Straw Hat, Bonnet, Manufacture 5,656 1,219 3,864 2,419
Milliners 44,272 7,213 4,487 2,739
Tailoresses 86,762 10,931 30,878 13,886
Dressmakers 279,161 121,201 61,421 47,704
Shirt Makers, Seamstresses 56,329 12,919 27,298 16,462
Boot, Shoe—Makers 33,001 2,971 10,774 5,178
Total of above occupations 561,498 163,497 157,808 97,290

A general survey of Table XXXV. in the Summary Volume, shows several headings under which males only, and a few under which females only, are classified. In the great majority of the others, males are of course in excess, hut there are many occupations in which the females exceed the males. These can be easily found by reference to the Table; but a short summary of the occupations employing more females than males may be of interest.

Occupational Groups. Males. Females.
Sick Nurses, Midwives, Invalid Attendants 1,092 67,269
Teaching 61,899 172,873
Domestic Offices or Services (excluding Outdoor Domestic Service) 124,263 1,690,686
Bookbinding: Paper and Stationery Manufacture 42,644 64,210
Manufacture and Sale of Textile Fabrics 492,175 663,222
Manufacture of Articles of Dress (excluding Wig Makers) 336,186 689,956
Total of above Occupations 1,058,259 3,348,216
All other Occupations 9,098,717 823,535
All Occupations 10,156,976 4,171,751

Relative numbers of Males and Females in certain occupations

Examination of the figures for successive Censuses shows very considerable changes in the relative numbers of males and females returned as engaged in some occupations. In many cases, these changes appear to be mere fluctuations, but in others they indicate a progressive substitution of the labour of one sex for that of the other. The following Table shows the proportions of Females in 1000 occupied-persons in various selected occupations as tabulated at the last five Censuses.

Occupations. 1861. 1871. 1881. 1891. 1901.
Schoolmasters, Teachers, Professors, Lectures 725 741 727 740 745
Photographers 66 147 197 234 257
Laundry and Washing Service 990 987 981 964 957
Commercial or Business Clerks 5 16 33 72 153
Telegraph, Telephone—Service 82 76 236 291 406
Earthernware, China, Porcelain, Manufacture 311 354 384 385 392
India Rubber Workers, Waterproof Goods Makers 206 200 275 391 398
Brush, Broom—Makers; Hair, Bristle—Workers 321 346 382 389 431
Paper Manufacture 417 395 444 401 366
Stationery, Paper Box, &c. Makers and Dealers 345 380 531 600 643
Bookbinders 450 488 527 554 603
Cotton Manufacture 567 598 620 609 628
Wool and Worsted Manufacture 461 513 561 557 582
Silk Manufacture 642 676 691 667 702
Hemp, Jute, Cocoa Fibre, Rope, Mat, Canvas, Sailcloth, &c. Manufacture 265 304 374 393 492
Hosiery Manufacture 468 468 533 629 713
Lace Manufacture 829 826 743 625 653
Carpet, Rug, Felt, Manufacture 183 315 362 440 517
Drapers, Linen Drapers, Mercers 208 257 349 433 504
Hat and Cap (not Straw) Makers and Dealers 223 378 400 435 466
Straw—Plait, Hat, Bonnet, Manufacture 921 926 903 814 737
Tailors; Clothiers, Outfitters (Dealers) 208 254 330 427 471
Glove Makers 864 882 854 769 761
Boot, Shoe, Slipper, Patten, Clog—Makers and Dealers 154 115 160 185 210
Tobacco Manufacturers; Tobacconists 221 296 435 548 601
The Table may be read thus:—
Of 1,000 persons employed as Commercial Clerks in 1861, 5 were females; of 1,000 similarly employed in 1871, 16 were females; . . . . . . . . . . and of 1,000 in 1901, 153 were females. (The Table of course gives no indication as to the growth or decline of any occupation; it only shows the number of females relative to the aggregate of males and females at each Census).

With few exceptions (including the familiar one of Commercial Clerks) the changes in either direction seem to admit of the explanation that they are due to the introduction or increased use of machinery-—processes which had formerly employed the manual labour of one sex being now largely carried on by means of machinery worked or attended by the other sex. Laundry work and Lace Manufacture are examples of industries in which the manual labour of females has been partly replaced by machinery worked by males; and Bootmaking and Tailoring are examples of industries in which the manual labour of males has been replaced by machinery attended by females.

Occupations of Children

We have already referred to the proportions of children at ages between 10 and 15 years, who were returned at the recent Census as engaged in occupations, and to the variations of those proportions in different parts of the country—particularly in some of the large manufacturing towns. It is desirable also to summarize the statistics as to the principal occupations under which these children have been returned, and, as preliminary to this, to review briefly the statistics relating to child employment that have been collected at former Censuses.

In 1851 and 1861 numbers of boys, equal to about 2 per cent. of the total number living at ages between 5 and 10 years, and somewhat smaller numbers of girls at the same ages, were returned as occupied—the boys being mainly engaged in agriculture, in cotton, woollen, or straw plait manufacture, in or about coal mines, or as porters, messengers, &c., and the girls in cotton, woollen, straw plait, or lace manufacture, or as domestic servants. In 1871, largely as a result of the Factory Act, 1867, and the Elementary Education Act, 1870, the occupied proportions of both sexes at these ages had fallen below 1 per cent. Between 1871 and 1881 the proportions were again reduced by further legislation, which prohibited the employment of children under 10 years of age. Consequently, only very few children, under 10 years of age were returned as occupied at the Census of 1881, and these were not separately tabulated, being merged in the age group 5 and under 15. In 1891 and 1901 the numbers -under 10 years of age who were returned as occupied were so small that it was not considered worth while to include them in the Tables.

While regular employment of children under 10 years of age has, been practically abolished, that of children between 10 and 15 years of age has been greatly, although somewhat irregularly, reduced, as is shown by the following figures:—

Males. Females.
1851 36.6 19.9
1861 36.9 20.2
1871 32.1 20.4
1881* 22.9 15.1
1891 26.0 16.3
1901 21.9 12.0
* The figures for 1881 include the occupied children under 10 years of age, but the numbers are so small that their inclusion may be disregarded.

In 1891 considerably increased proportions of both sexes at these ages, were employed in, textile factories, and of boys as messengers or porters and as workers in connection with coal mines. This increase was probably due to special industrial conditions; the legal conditions, in respect both to School attendance and to Factory regulations, being practically the same as in 1881.

Since the Census of 1891, some important Acts have come into force, which have further restricted the employment of children of school age.6 The most important effect of these Acts has been to raise the minimum age at which children may be employed, either totally or as "half-timers," to 12 years. Some of the restrictive provisions are, however, optional, much being left to the discretion of the local school authorities. The diversities we have already shown to prevail (see p. 80) are instances of the varying ways in which this discretion has been exercised.

In connection with the decrease in the employment of children which is shown by the Census Returns, some figures from the Reports of the Board of Education will be found interesting. In the year 1890-91 there were 173,040 half-time scholars in England and Wales; but during the next 10 years the numbers successively decreased, reaching 74,468 in 1900-01. These were very unevenly distributed through the Country, many Counties being entirely free from them, and others containing only very small numbers. The largest numbers were in Lancashire, Cheshire, and the West Riding of Yorkshire. These three Administrative Counties, together with the County Boroughs situated within their boundaries, contained in 1900-01 no fewer than 67,393 or 90 per cent. of all the half-time scholars in the Country. The discretion exercised by the local authorities is further illustrated by the fact, that of the 23 County Boroughs included in the above aggregate, only 10, viz,:—Blackburn, Bolton, Burnley, Bury, Oldham, Preston, Rochdale, Stockport, Bradford, and Halifax contained any large number of half-timers.

It may be noted, however, that, so far as comparison can be made, nearly all the large towns which contained high proportions of occupied children under 15 years of age in 1901 had shown much higher proportions in 1891. In the following Table we give the proportions per cent. of occupied children aged 10-15 years in those Urban Districts which in 1891 contained populations exceeding 50,000; but we are not able to estimate how much of the decrease may be due to the action of the local authorities under the Education Acts, and how much to diminished demand for labour.

1891. 1901. 1891. 1901.
Aston Manor 26.5 27.7 17.6 18.5
Barrow in Furness 21.0 18.9 16.0 8.2
Bath 20.9 20.2 17.2 12.0
Birkenhead 20.9 17.7 9.4 7.5
Birmingham 27.7 26.2 19.0 19.2
Blackburn 56.9 41.2 58.1 40.3
Bolton 49.5 39.4 44.9 32.6
Bradford 45.6 38.5 44.1 34.7
Brighton 19.3 17.7 13.6 9.4
Bristol 21.2 18.8 14.9 13.5
Burnley 53.3 42.9 50.3 39.9
Bury 42.6 35.7 41.3 34.4
Cardiff 17.6 14.6 10.4 5.5
Coventry 30.0 23.7 21.1 19.4
Croydon 13.1 14.0 9.4 6.1
Derby 25.3 22.1 17.0 16.5
Devonport 15.2 10.7 8.8 5.6
Gateshead 18.7 17.0 7.1 6.2
Grimsby 17.4 16.5 10.6 6.7
Halifax 61.5 41.6 56.7 39.5
Hanley 32.9 25.4 24.9 17.3
Hastings 15.1 15.2 13.3 7.9
Huddersfield 30.7 30.3 27.3 26.0
Ipswich 23.0 21.0 17.6 12.0
Kingston on Hull 18.7 15.6 9.0 7.2
Leeds 27.2 26.9 20.9 18.5
Leicester 32.9 31.2 27.9 27.0
Leyton 13.4 13.7 7.1 5.2
Liverpool 19.5 16.3 10.6 6.8
London 18.7 15.0 10.3 7.8
Manchester 27.5 23.7 19.3 16.7
Merthyr Tydvil 39.8 28.0 14.6 6.2
Middlesbrough 17.0 15.3 7.6 4.0
Newcastle on Tyne 18.7 15.5 9.4 5.7
Newport (Monmouth) 20.2 15.0 9.7 5.7
Northampton 32.1 27.0 25.2 22.3
Norwich 26.3 19.6 17.3 14.5
Nottingham 24.2 26.5 23.2 24.4
Oldham 44.1 38.2 35.0 29.4
Plymouth 20.2 13.5 10.7 6.7
Portsmouth 12.9 13.5 10.8 7.8
Preston 49.3 34.7 50.1 35.5
Reading 23.8 22.8 13.6 10.6
Rhondda 40.3 33.7 12.2 5.5
Rochdale 53.9 37.7 50.7 34.6
St. Helen's 32.8 26.1 10.8 5.4
Salford 27.9 26.0 19.2 18.1
Sheffield 26.5 26.5 13.1 13.2
Southampton 17.1 16.7 10.8 7.6
South Shields 17.9 18.9 6.8 4.9
Stockport 42.8 32.6 39.6 26.5
Sunderland 16.4 16.0 6.9 4.8
Swansea 23.2 16.4 10.8 5.2
Tottenham 14.3 15.0 6.2 6.5
Walsall 27.6 24.5 18.0 18.7
Warrington 27.6 27.5 19.9 16.2
West Bromwich 26.5 26.3 8.7 10.8
West Ham 16.0 17.8 8.2 7.6
Wigan 34.5 25.9 30.5 20.4
Willesden 15.3 12.5 10.3 5.7
Wolverhampton 21.5 21.2 10.5 10.7
York 21.2 14.8 8.8 7.7

The following Table based upon the figures in Table 34 in Appendix A. shows the numbers of boys between 10 and 15 years of age who were employed in various groups of industries in 1891 and 1901, and the corresponding proportions per 10,000 living of the same ages at each Census. Columns showing the proportions per 10,000 living at ages 10-13, 13-14, and 14-15 in 1901 have been added to the Table.

OCCUPATIONS. MALES AGED 10-15 YEARS. Proportions per 10,000 living
at the following Ages in
Numbers Enumerated. Proportions per
10,000 Living.
1891. 1901. 1891. 1901. 10-13. 13-14. 14-15.
Messengers, Porters, &c., (not Railway). 82,581 81,879 513 490 47 919 1,390
Conveyance on Roads 8,297 10,928 52 65 2 84 235
Commercial, Business, Law—Clerks 9,456 11,249 59 67 1 66 266
Agriculture—On Farms, Woods, and Gardens 71,169 50,645 442 303 34 519 893
Coal and Shale Mine Workers 31,318 31,587 194 189 7 372 552
Workers in Metals, Machines, Implements and Conveyances 27,442 27,730 170 166 3 191 627
Building and Works of Construction 12,397 13,133 77 79 2 80 306
Manufacture of Textile Fabrics 62,843 41,404 390 248 90 461 508
Workers and Dealers in Dress (including Drapers, Linen-drapers, Mercers) 17,599 14,647 109 88 10 132 276
Workers and Dealers in Food, Tobacco, Drink, and Lodging 20,087 20,250 125 121 8 159 420
General Labourers and Factory Labourers (undefined) 15,061 5,908 93 35 1 43 129
All other Occupations 60,959 55,845 378 335 26 447 1,151
Total Occupied 419,209 365,205 2,602 2,186 231 3,473 6,753
Unoccupied 1,191,649 1,305,765 7,398 7,814 9,769 6,527 3,247
Total 1,610,858 1,670,970 10,000 10,000 10,000 10,000 10,000

It will be seen that under four headings (Messengers, Porters, &c., Coal and Shale Mine Workers, Workers in Metals, &c., and Workers and Dealers in Food, &c.) the numbers in 1901 were almost identical with those in 1891; in other words the increase of population had not been accompanied by an increase in the number of boys employed. Under three headings of much less numerical importance (Conveyance on Roads, Commercial Clerks, and Building and Works of Construction) there had been a small increase, while under the five other headings (including Agriculture and the Manufacture of Textile Fabrics) the numbers employed had considerably decreased. The decrease under the last named heading is specially noteworthy; because textile manufactures still account for two fifths of the number of occupied male children at ages under 13 years.

A Table, similar in form to the foregoing but containing a smaller number of headings, has been prepared to whew the proportions of female children engaged in occupations at the last two Censuses.

OCCUPATIONS. FEMALES AGED 10-15 YEARS. Proportions per 10,000 living
at the following Ages in
Numbers Enumerated. Proportions per 10,000 Living.
1891. 1901. 1891. 1901. 10-13. 13-14. 14-15.
Domestic Indoor Service 107,167 64,802 665 388 25 527 1,351
Laundry, Washing, and other Services 2,158 3,265 13 20 1 20 76
Teachers 5,932 4,006 37 24   22 97
Messengers 2,304 3,094 14 19 1 41 49
Workers in Metals, Machines, Implements, and Conveyances 2,906 4,280 18 26 1 37 90
Workers and Dealers in Paper, Prints, Books, and Stationery 5,232 7,646 32 46 1 61 167
Manufacture of Textile Fabrics 82,661 59,863 513 358 93 624 900
Workers and Dealers in Dress (including Drapers, Linen-drapers, Mercers) 34,412 32,775 213 196 5 226 746
Workers and Dealers in Food, Tobacco, Drink, and Lodging 5,866 6,971 36 42 1 51 155
All other Occupations 13,556 13,832 85 81 4 101 307
Total Occupied 262,194 200,534 1,626 1,200 132 1,710 3,938
Unoccupied* 1,350,515 1,470,236 8,374 8,800 9,868 8,290 6,062
Total 1,612,709 1,670,770 10,000 10,000 10,000 10,000 10,000
* Including Farmers' Relatives returned as assisting in the work of the Farm.

Five of the smallest headings in the Table (amounting together to about one-eighth of the number occupied in 1901) show an increase both in the numbers employed and in their proportion to the population; the two most important headings (Domestic Service7 and the Manufacture of Textile Fabrics) show a marked decline, as also does the smaller heading "Teachers"; while the two other headings (Workers and Dealers in Dress and "All other Occupations") have changed but little. The reduction under the heading for Textile Fabrics is even more significant than in the case of males; because no fewer than seven tenths of the occupied girls at ages under 13 years are employed in these manufactures.

Detailed statistics of the occupations of male and female children at ages between 10 and 14 years at the Census of 1901 are given for every Administrative County and every County Borough of England and Wales in Table XLL of the Summary Volume.

1 Census Report, 1831, p. x.

2 For copies of the Schedule and Memorandum, see Appendix B, to this Report.

3 It will of course be understood that throughout this Report such terms as "Occupied," "Not Occupied," do not mean "In Employment," "Not in Employment." Persons belonging to any occupation are properly classed to that occupation, even although they may have been temporarily out of work on the Census day.

4 The comparisons in this paragraph are somewhat affected by the fact that Boroughs are not generally co-extensive with Poor Law Unions. Consequently in some cases paupers from a Borough are received into Union Workhouses situated outside the boundaries of the Borough; and in other cases paupers from outside a Borough are received in Union Workhouses situated within the Borough. If the figures could be corrected by counting these paupers with the populations to which they belong, the proportions occupied in some Boroughs:—e.g., Bournemouth, Bolton, and Rochdale—would be slightly reduced and those in some other Boroughs:—e.g., Bath, Croydon, Stockport, Bury, Blackburn, Oldham, Burnley, and Halifax—would be slightly increased.

5 The Headings are, of course, not the same for females as for males.

6 The Factory and "Workshop Act, 1891; the Elementary Education (School Attendance) Act, 1893; the Elementary Education (School Attendance) Act (1893) Amendment Act, 1899; the Mines (Prohibition of Child Labour Underground) Act, 1900.

7 In the case of Domestic Service, some part of the decrease is due to the difference of classification, cf pages 76, 77 of this Report.

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