Workforce intelligence > Publications > Topics > Workforce nationality

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 will adopt from 1 January 2021 and how that may impact 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 on 1 January 2021. The new rules effectively mean that people cannot come to the UK to take up care worker roles (people can still arrive to take up some regulated professional roles).
  • 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

Looking for something specific on workforce nationality? Contact us 


Follow us

Our channels

Keep up-to-date

Get the latest news and information directly into your inbox

Sign up for updates


Skills for Care Ltd, West Gate, Grace Street, Leeds, LS1 2RP.

Registered company no. 3866683. Registered in England charity no. 1079836. Group VAT no. 135 538313.