Employed persons by economic sector in the territory of today´s NRW, 1850 to 1970

Resource Type
Dataset : Survey and aggregate data
  • Klaudat, Harald
Publication Date
  • ZA:
    • Historical Studies Data
  • Abstract

    The available data are intended to show the distribution of the economically active population of the cities and districts in the individual economic sectors in North Rhine-Westphalia. The development of the working population in the territory of North Rhine-Westphalia is reported primarily with the help of the characteristic values, which are not available annually in the official statistics but only at periods of comprehensive occupational censuses since 1871. Due to the extensive territorial changes in the 120-year period under review, which thus also cover a period prior to the state´s existence, the comments are of particular importance. Due to the considerable scope of the annotations on territorial changes they are not listed in the table header but they are available as a downloadable PDF file. The data can be found in HISTAT under the topic Population and refer to the following administrative districts with their city districts, independent cities and rural districts: 01 Administrative district of Aachen 02 Arnsberg administrative district 03 Düsseldorf administrative district 04 Cologne administrative district 05 Minden or Detmold administrative district 06 Münster administrative district 07 Total area or NRW In the censuses of the years 1882, 1895 and 1907 the term ´Berufspersonen´, i.e. ´working persons in a learned profession´, was still used. In the censuses of the years 1925, 1939, 1950 and 1961 the term ´Erwerbspersonen´, i.e. ´occupation persons, labour force, working population´ was used. In the 1970 census, the term “Erwerbstätige”, i.e. ´employed, employed person´ was used. The censuses from 1882 to 1907 were purely occupational censuses that were conducted independently of the population censuses. The primary occupation of the population was surveyed, but not the commercial branch of the enterprise in which the respondent was employed. Temporarily unemployed persons were also classified according to their last occupation. In contrast, family helpers were only incompletely included in the censuses. The initial figures for the female occupational population and in particular the women´s rate of 1882 are therefore too low in comparison with later data. The correlation between occupation and gainful employment that still applies to the first surveys is being lost more and more as the Industrial Revolution progresses (i.e. in the later period not all employed persons had a job in their learned profession or in a company belonging to the branch of the learned profession). From 1925 onwards, the primary focus was on employment in a particular economic branch, covered by the economic classification, but temporary unemployed persons continued to be included, so that not only the actual working population, but all the labour force were covered. It was only in 1970 that the unemployed were not included. The four economic sectors from 1970 are decisive for the allocation of all counting results from 1882 onwards to the economic departments, as the terms of this economic classification make historical comparability possible.
Temporal Coverage
  • 1850 / 1970
Geographic Coverage
  • North Rhine-Westphalia (DE-NW)
    North-Rhine Westphalia and its Districts, Municipalities and County-Districts
Data and File Information
  • Number of Variables: 3934
A - Data and documents are released for academic research and teaching.
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Alternative Identifiers
  • ZA8685 (Type: ZA-No.)
  • Harald Klaudat (1999), Bevölkerung und Erwerbstätigkeit 1850-1970. Eine historische Statistik für die kreisfreien Städte und Kreise und deren Vorgänger im Gebiet von Nordrhein-Westfalen. Herausgegeben vom Landesamt für Datenverarbeitung und Statistik Nordrhein-Westfalen. Düsseldorf.

Update Metadata: 2021-04-07 | Issue Number: 15 | Registration Date: 2019-04-05