The size and structure of the adult social care sector and workforce in England

Published July 2020

This report provides the most up-to-date and comprehensive overview of the size and structure of the adult social care sector and workforce in England.  Download a copy of the report and our handy infographic showing all the key findings.  

This dashboard is best viewed on a desktop computer. You can view the dashboard here


Downloading the visualisation

  • You can also download a PDF or PowerPoint version by clicking on the arrow found at the bottom right of the visualisation.
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Key findings

  • The number of people working in adult social care was estimated at 1.52 million.
  • The number of adult social care jobs in England as at 2019/20 was estimated at 1.65 million – this has increased by around 1% (17,000 jobs) between 2018/19 and 2019/20.
  • The number of full-time equivalent (FTE) jobs was estimated at 1.16 million.
  • An estimated 18,200 organisations were involved in providing or organising adult social care in England as at 2019/20. Those services were delivered in an estimated 38,000 establishments.


  • Since 2012/13, the workforce has continued to shift away from local authority jobs (a decrease of 25%, or 37,000 jobs) and towards independent sector jobs (an increase of 11%, or 130,000 jobs).
  • The number of jobs in domiciliary services increased at a faster rate between 2012/13 and 2019/20 (an increase of 95,000 jobs and 15%) than jobs in residential services (an increase of 25,000 jobs and 4%)  
  • Registered nurses were one of the only jobs in adult social care to see a significant decrease over the period (down 15,500 or 30% since 2012/13).

Forecast and trends

  • If the adult social care workforce grows proportionally to the projected number of people aged 65 and over in the population then the number of adult social care jobs will increase by 32% (520,000 jobs) to around 2.17 million jobs by 2035.



Further resources

  • Also available at England level is the State of the workforce information, which looks at workforce characteristics, issues and trends. 
  • To support the publication of workforce intelligence publications, we have published an adult social care workforce estimates excel file, which can be found here.
  • At regional level are nine annual reports, providing an overview of adult social care services and the workforce in each region.

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