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Report Number P23-11
Component ID: #ti1477045270

The proportion of men 25 to 64 years old whose occupation is in the same major occupation group as that of their fathers was not quite 1 in 4, i.e., 23 percent, in 1962. The tendency for a man to follow the occupation of his father, referred to here as "occupational inheritance," varied in degree from one occupational origin to another. About 41 percent of the men whose fathers were professional, technical, and kindred workers were engaged in the same occupational group, whereas only 10 to 15 percent of the sons of clerical workers, sales workers, service workers, laborers, and farm laborers were in the same lines of work as their fathers (see figure 1). Variations are also noted when the data are viewed from the standpoint of the current occupation. Occupations varied in the extent to which their ranks were filled with persons whose fathers were in the same occupation, that is, through "self-recruitment."1 Of the total number of men whose current occupations were classified as farmers and farm managers, no less than 85 percent had fathers who were farmers. At the opposite extreme, only 5 percent of clerical workers had fathers in the same occupation group. Occupations differed in the relative magnitude of occupational inheritance and occupational self-recruitment for a number of reasons including shifts in occupational composition over time, supply and demand factors, and differential birth rates. An occupation with declining numbers, like farming, may have high self-recruitment but moderate or low occupational inheritance; whereas the professional, technical, and kindred occupations, a rapidly expanding group, manifest only a moderate degree of self-recruitment despite relatively high occupational inheritance.

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1 In this report, the term "occupational inheritance" is used when the measure of occupational mobility is based on the distribution by father's occupation. Thus, the percent of men with a given father's occupation who are currently following the same occupation is referred to as the percent of occupational inheritance. The term "self-recruitment" is used when the measure is based on current occupation. The percent of men currently in a given occupation whose father's occupation was the same is referred to as the percent of self-recruitment.

Component ID: #ti702095047

A Note on Language

Census statistics date back to 1790 and reflect the growth and change of the United States. Past census reports contain some terms that today’s readers may consider obsolete and inappropriate. As part of our goal to be open and transparent with the public, we are improving access to all Census Bureau original publications and statistics, which serve as a guide to the nation's history.

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