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Top class: architects equal to doctors in census categories

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It's official: architects are now designated socioeconomic class 1.2.

The classification came from a special report on the BBC Online website last week, which revealed that architects share the 1.2 rating - high on the 1-7 list - with surveyors, airline pilots, doctors and university professors.

It comes before this year's census, which will produce a different picture of British society, said the BBC. For the first time in nearly 90 years the government has changed how it classifies us.

The seven-class system throws more weight on the type of employment contract than traditional divides such as manual or non-manual labour, skilled or unskilled.

A class 4 self-employed plumber cocks a snook at a call-centre worker in class 6, regardless of graduate status. Class 7 fodder includes waitresses and milkmen. Actors and journalists are in class 2, and train drivers chug along in class 5.

Professor David Rose of Essex University drew up the classification and said it was a better indicator of 'life chances'. The site at www. bbc. co. uk, which has a 'check your class page' under the Radio 4 feature on 'the new social classes', stresses: 'We are not all middle-class now.'

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