What did our MPs do for a living before their election?

MAP: Politicians aren’t just lawyers and businessmen

by Nick Taylor-Vaisey

We all know what our MPs do for a living once they’re elected (bicker with each other, debate and pass legislation, bicker some more, and then fight for re-election). But what did they do before they took their seats in the House of Commons?

This map answers that question by mapping MPs’ primary occupations, and you can tell the Commons is more than a collection of lawyers and businessmen.

BLUE: Law
TURQUOISE: Arts and culture
GREEN: Environment
BRIGHT GREEN: Science and technology
RED: Business and administration
BROWN: Agriculture
LIGHT BROWN: Health care
BEIGE: Public service
YELLOW: Media and publishing
PURPLE: Law enforcement/Military
BRIGHT PURPLE: Community activist
GREY: Education
BLACK: Clergy

Ridings are coded by their MP’s primary occupation (see legend), and the info bubbles that pop up tell you where MPs were born, when they were born, and their occupations before they took office. Note that many MPs list more than a single occupation, and this map focuses on the first listed occupation.

Find anything interesting? Comment away. We’ll be watching.




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What did our MPs do for a living before their election?

  1. I think the young Innu lawyer Jonathan Genest-Jourdain would be very surprised to be listed as born in 1946 and 67 years old! (He was actually born in 1979 and is 33).

    • Many thanks for pointing out that error. It was an unfortunate data malfunction that’s since been corrected.

  2. This is one of the coolest political maps I’ve seen in a while. More please. Well done.

  3. Conservatives are a bunch of farmers led by professional politicians is my conclusion. Much like cows led by ranchers to the slaughter.

    • If Conservatives are led by “professional politicians”, what are Liberals and NDPs led by?

      • I think the point was the farmers, not the professional politicians. All parties are led by them.

  4. Hardly seems to make sense to colour ridings grey for “education” if their MPs were students before being elected. Education implies that the riding elected a teacher. Would be better to either make a separate colour for students, or colour student-held ridings according to the fields they were studying.

  5. so in order which professions have led to the most mp’s?

  6. Info on Simcoe-North (Orillia,ON) MP @bruce_stanton is incorrect!

  7. My riding in Ontario is Oak Ridges-Markham, take a look, this riding is HUGE and it makes no sense that the people of Oak Ridges are being grouped with those in Markham. Oak Ridges is in the town of Richmond Hill NOT the city of Markham!

  8. Info for Denis Blanchette is way wrong. Google again.

    • actually, there are a lot of errors. Factchecker required.

  9. Who the he** did Jim Hillyer advise, and, even more to the point, who “in God’s name” did he educate?

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