ABC1 vs P2 People & Places: How have demographics changed?

Filed in: General News

November 3, 2016

How have demographics changed?

P2 People & Places logoThe NRS social grade is a system of demographic classifcation that was developed over 50 years ago to classify readership for the print industry. The classification is based on the occupation of the head of the household.

It was a basic tool that worked well as a simple discriminator but it doesn’t provide the insight today’s marketers and businesses require.

Grade Social class Chief income earner’s occupation
A Upper middle class Higher managerial, administrative or professional
B Middle class Intermediate managerial, administrative or professional
C1 Lower middle class Supervisory or clerical and junior managerial, administrative or professional
C2 Skilled working class Skilled manual workers
D Working class Semi-skilled and unskilled manual workers
E Non working Casual or lowest grade workers, pensioners, and others who depend on the welfare state for their income

What’s changed?

Modern demographic classifications such as PPeople & Places contain much more detail than the old ABC1’s. They describe the lifestyles, behaviours and attitudes of UK consumers and provide marketers and businesses with an in-depth understanding of different types of people and what is important to them.

Traditionally targeting ABC1’s ‘A’s as the broad ‘upper middle class, higher managerial, administrative or professional’ worked to a certain extent, but what if you are actually looking for people that are:

  • Young upcoming professionals?P2 People & Places geodemographic classification broad types
  • Established middle-aged workers?
  • Heads of industry heading into retirement?

Social Grade bands were not designed to be particularly descriptive or to explore social motivations.

They were a simple target group indicator based on the income of the main breadwinner. As society becomes more diversified targeting solutions need to be more accurate.

In line with this thinking, we have an increasing number of clients who have chosen PPeople & Places geodemographic classification for their projects as a modern, effective and expansive solution that provides detailed descriptions and insight into peoples lifestyles, behaviour and attitudes.

To build such a precise and effective classification we used Census data augmented with data from the LCF and BPS.

The Census is the UK’s only compulsory survey which means that it’s also comprehensive and current i.e. reliable.

Learn more about how we made PPeople & Places geodemographic classification.


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