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Occupational Prestige Ratings from the 1989 General Social Survey

Resource Type
Dataset : survey data
  • Davis, James A.
  • Smith, Tom W.
  • Hodge, Robert W.
  • Nakao, Keiko
  • Treas, Judith
Other Title
  • Archival Version (Subtitle)
Collective Title
  • General Social Survey Series
Publication Date
Funding Reference
  • National Science Foundation
Free Keywords
occupational categories; occupational status; occupations; prestige; socioeconomic status
  • Abstract

    This data collection contains the prestige ratings that respondents to the 1989 General Social Survey assigned to various occupations. The purpose of the collection was to replicate the benchmark study of occupational prestige conducted by Hodge, Siegel, and Rossi (HSR) in 1964, while expanding the number of rated occupations to include all 503 detailed occupational categories in the 1980 Census. Additional titles were added from the HSR study and several other studies of occupational prestige, for a total of 704 occupational titles. Respondents were divided into 10 subsamples, with each subsample rating 110 occupations. The first 40 titles presented to each respondent were the same for all subsamples. As in the HSR study, respondents were asked to rate the occupations on a scale of 1 to 9. To promote comparability with the HSR study, both the nature of the task respondents were asked to perform (ranking titles) and the wording of the instructions were the same in both studies.
  • Table of Contents


    • DS0: Study-Level Files
    • DS1: Raw Ratings Data
    • DS2: Prestige Scores for All Detailed Occupations
Temporal Coverage
  • Time period: 1989
Geographic Coverage
  • United States
Sampled Universe
Noninstitutionalized English-speaking persons 18 years of age and over, living in the United States.
A national probability sample of 1500 was randomly divided into 12 subsamples of 125 respondents. Ten of the twelve subsamples were asked to rate 110 occupational titles. The first 40 titles were common to all subsamples, while 70 titles were unique to each subsample.
Collection Mode
  • The occupational prestige ratings for this study were collected on the 1989 General Social Survey (see GENERAL SOCIAL SURVEYS, 1972-1990: [CUMULATIVE FILE], ICPSR 9505) by principal investigators James A. Davis and Tom W. Smith. The analysis of the prestige module and construction of the prestige scale were carried out by the late Robert W. Hodge, Keiko Nakao, and Judith Treas.

2006-01-12 All files were removed from dataset 3 and flagged as study-level files, so that they will accompany all downloads. Funding insitution(s): National Science Foundation (SES-8809289).
This version of the study is no longer available on the web. If you need to acquire this version of the data, you have to contact ICPSR User Support (
Alternative Identifiers
  • 9593 (Type: ICPSR Study Number)
  • Is previous version of
    DOI: 10.3886/ICPSR09593.v1
  • Kodrzycki, Yolanda K.. Training programs for displaced workers: what do they accomplish?. New England Economic Review.39 -1997.
  • Hauser, Robert M., Warren, John Robert. Socioeconomic Indexes for Occupations: A Review, Update, and Critique. CDE Working Paper 96-01.Madison, WI: Center for Demography and Ecology. 1996.
    • ID: (URL)
  • Nakao, Keiko, Treas, Judith. Computing 1989 Occupational Prestige Scores. GSS Methodological Report.70, Chicago, IL: National Opinion Research Center. 1990.
  • Nakao, Keiko, Treas, Judith. On Revising Prestige Scores for All Occupations. GSS Methodological Report.69, Chicago, IL: National Opinion Research Center. 1990.

Update Metadata: 2015-08-05 | Issue Number: 6 | Registration Date: 2015-06-15

Davis, James A.; Smith, Tom W.; Hodge, Robert W.; Nakao, Keiko; Treas, Judith (1992): Occupational Prestige Ratings from the 1989 General Social Survey. Archival Version. General Social Survey Series. Version: v0. ICPSR - Interuniversity Consortium for Political and Social Research. Dataset.