One interesting piece of information that can be determined from census data is how people were employed in the past. The first image shows the percentage of men, aged 15-64 in each Occupation Class in the Eythorne Registration Sub-District for the period 1851-1911. The data has been derived from the computerised individual level census enumerators’ books (and household schedules for 1911). Data for 1871 is absent. The main geographical units used in this data are the Registration Sub-Districts (RSDs) These were units used to report both census outputs and vital statistics (births, marriages and deaths) between 1851 and 1911. The RSDs for Eastry are Deal, Eythorne, Wingham and Sandwich. Geographically, the Eythorne RSD includes the land around Nonington and Aylesham (see image below). Aylesham, however, is a relatively new village, established in 1926 to house miners, and as a consequence would not have a population of any size between 1851 and 1911 to contribute any numbers in the Eythorne RSD in the first figure. So we can be confident that the data shown primarily refers to Eythorne alone.
For Eythorne (and nationally) the largest decrease over that time period was in the proportion of men employed as agricultural labourers. These workers decreased in absolute terms too: the number of agricultural labourers declined nationally by about a third between 1851 and 1911 but by more than half in Eythorne. Agricultural mechanisation and increasing efficiency in farming meant that at least as much food was able to be produced with less and less labour, and men who would previously have been employed as agricultural labourers found more lucrative work in other sectors. For Eythorne that would appear to be manual skilled and manual semi-skilled labour which are the next two highest percentage occupations for the village. Overall, however, Eythorne remains firmly agricultural.
In 1911 we see that 7% of the men in the Eythorne Registration sub-district are engaged in mining, the highest level in any Registration District in Kent at this time. In other areas adjacent to Eythorne, the level is less than 5%, Dover is about 4% but the rest generally nearer 2%. This contrasts with the established coalfields such as in Durham, Yorkshire and South Wales where in many instances over 50% of the male population is engaged in mining.