Service sector employment in Great Britain 1841-2011

Paula Aucott*, Humphrey Southall

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

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The most detailed published census data on occupations and industries from nine British censuses between 1841 and 2011 have been computerised, and original methods developed both to re-district them from constantly changing historical districts to the 380 Local Authority Districts reported on by the 2011 census and to re-classify them to the 20 ‘Sections’ of the 2007 Standard Industrial Classification. This large dataset is then used to reveal new insights into the long-run evolution of geographical unevenness in the British economy. Initial analysis reported here maps the total percentage in the service sector for 1841, 1931, 1991 and 2011, with original data for key sectors presented for 1841, 1931 and 1991. While counts for individual districts and ‘Sections’ must be used carefully, overall trends appear robust: the localities of Britain have not just been moving steadily towards economies dominated by the service sector, they have steadily been becoming more similar.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)567-575
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Maps
Issue number3
Early online date11 Aug 2022
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2022


  • census
  • industry
  • historical mapping
  • Service Sector
  • re-districting
  • Great Britain


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