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NS-SeC of Household Reference Person

  • Mnemonic reference


  • Applicability


  • Type

    Derived variable


The National Statistics Socio-economic Classification (NS-SeC) provides an indication of socio-economic position based on occupation. It is an Office for National Statistics standard classification.

To assign a person aged 16 and over to an NS-SeC category, their occupation title is combined with information about their employment status, whether they are employed or self-employed, and whether or not they supervise other employees. Full-time students are recorded in the ‘full-time students' category regardless of whether they are economically active or not.

Although all people aged 16 and over are assigned to a NS-SeC category, statistical outputs for this variable are generally based on the 16 to 74 years old population due to statistical disclosure control considerations.

The rebased version of NS-SeC used in census results uses occupation coded to SOC2010.

Find out more about the classification.

In 2011 Census results, because the census did not ask a question about the number of employees at a person's workplace, the reduced method of deriving NS-SeC (which does not require this information) is used.

The concept of a Household Reference Person (HRP) was introduced in the 2001 Census (in common with other government surveys in 2001/2) to replace the traditional concept of the 'head of the household'. HRPs provide an individual person within a household to act as a reference point for producing further derived statistics and for characterising a whole household according to characteristics of the chosen reference person.


Total number of categories 41

Code Name
1 Employers in large organisations
2 Higher managerial and administrative occupations
3.1 Higher professional occupations: Traditional employees
3.2 Higher professional occupations: New employees
3.3 Higher professional occupations: Traditional self-employed
3.4 Higher professional occupations: New self-employed
4.1 Lower professional and higher technical occupations: Traditional employees
4.2 Lower professional and higher technical occupations: New employees
4.3 Lower professional and higher technical occupations: Traditional self-employed
4.4 Lower professional and higher technical occupations: New self-employed
5 Lower managerial and administrative occupations
6 Higher supervisory occupations
7.1 Intermediate occupations: Intermediate clerical and administrative occupations
7.2 Intermediate occupations: Intermediate sales and service occupations
7.3 Intermediate occupations: Intermediate technical and auxiliary occupations
7.4 Intermediate occupations: Intermediate engineering occupations
8.1 Employers in small establishments: Employers in small establishments in industry, commerce, services etc.
8.2 Employers in small establishments: Employers in small establishments in agriculture
9.1 Own account workers: Own account workers (non-professional)
9.2 Own account workers: Own account workers (agriculture)
10 Lower supervisory occupations
11.1 Lower technical occupations: Lower technical craft occupations
11.2 Lower technical occupations: Lower technical process operative occupations
12.1 Semi routine occupations: Semi-routine sales occupations
12.2 Semi routine occupations: Semi-routine service occupations
12.3 Semi routine occupations: Semi-routine technical occupations
12.4 Semi routine occupations: Semi-routine operative occupations
12.5 Semi routine occupations: Semi-routine agricultural occupations
12.6 Semi routine occupations: Semi-routine clerical occupations
12.7 Semi routine occupations: Semi-routine childcare occupations
13.1 Routine occupations: Routine sales and service
13.2 Routine occupations: Routine production
13.3 Routine occupations: Routine technical
13.4 Routine occupations: Routine operative
13.5 Routine occupations: Routine agricultural
14.1 Never worked
14.2 Long-term unemployed
15 Full-time students
16 Occupations not stated or inadequately described
17 Not classifiable for other reasons
XX No code required - comprises household spaces with no usual residents

Source question or variables

NS-SEC (Derived variable)

HRPPUK11 (Derived variable)

SIZHUK11 (Derived variable)

Known Quality Issues

This variable relies on relationship data, which include some known quality issues. Find out more about quality issues and assurance.

  • Mnemonic reference


  • Applicability

    All occupied household spaces, UK


This derived variable classifies a household according to the NS-SeC of the Household Reference Person (HRP).


For codes, see National Socio-economic Classification (NS-SeC) - NSSPUK.

Not applicable category comprises: All household spaces with no residents