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Workforce nationality figures

Data correct as at 2020/21

Next update due: Mid October 2022

This page provides information on the nationality of the adult social care workforce from Skills for Care’s weighted workforce estimates. It also provides information on the points-based immigration system that the UK adopted from 1 January 2021 and how that impacts people immigrating for job roles in the adult social care workforce.

Downloading the visualisation and notes about the data

  • You can also download a PDF or PowerPoint version by clicking on the arrow found at the bottom right of the visualisation.
  • There are notes about the data when you hover over the ( i ) in the visualisation.
  • For information about how workforce estimates are created or rounding and suppression rules please visit our webpage on methodology.
  • If you require data that isn’t available in the visualisation or report below, please contact us


Key findings

New immigration rules / travel restrictions

  • New immigration rules came into place in the UK in February 2022. Care workers are now a shortage occupation, meaning that they can immigrate into the UK providing the job meets the minimum salary level of £20,480 per year. However, as at 2020/21 93% of care workers were paid below this rate.
  • This change provides an additional supply challenge for the sector. Since 2012/13 the sector has become increasingly reliant on workers from the EU with 7.2% of workers (113,000) holding an EU nationality as at 2020/21, up from 4.7% in 2012/13.
  • There has been no evidence of the existing non-British workforce leaving at an increased rate since the new immigration rules came into place in January 2021.
  • Data collected since March 2021, as would be expected given the new rules and COVID-19 travel restrictions in place, shows a sharp drop in the number of people arriving in the UK to take up adult social are jobs (1.8% of new starters in January-April 2021 compared to 5.2% during the same period in 2019).


Workforce characteristics

  • In 2020/21, around 84% of the adult social care workforce identified as British, 7% (113,000 jobs) identified as of an EU nationality and 9% (137,000 jobs) of a non-EU nationality. Therefore, on average, the adult social care sector showed a slightly greater reliance on non-EU workers than EU workers.
  • The adult social care sector (16% non-British) was more diverse than the population of England in terms of nationality (8% with no British identity).
  • The proportion of the adult social care workforce with a British nationality has remained consistent over the past seven years (from 2012/13 to 2020/21), varying by less than one percentage point.
  • However, the composition of the non-British workforce has changed. Over the same period, the proportion of the workforce holding an EU (non-British) nationality had increased by two percentage points and the percentage of those of non-EU nationality decreased by three percentage points.


Related reports

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