Story: Class

Urban occupational structure, 1926

This graph shows the distribution of occupations in 1926 for both Pākehā men and women, based on a reworking of the census categories. The charts show that the urban elite of large employers, managers and top professionals, such as lawyers and doctors, was relatively small – comprising under 9% of male workers and only about 1% of female workers. Women were well-represented among semi-professionals, which included teachers, while there were fewer men in that category. About a third of both men and women were other white-collar workers, with women especially highly represented among shop assistants and clerks. Over half of all workers were blue-collar workers but there were more skilled workers among the males than the females.

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Source: Erik Olssen and Maureen Hickey, Class and occupation: the New Zealand reality, Dunedin: Otago University Press, 2005, p. 101

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How to cite this page:

Jock Phillips, 'Class - A middle-class society? – material differences, 1890 to 1970', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 23 April 2024)

Story by Jock Phillips, published 5 May 2011, reviewed & revised 22 May 2018