Civil Service pay

Published

Last updated 4 March 2021 - see all updates

1. Main facts and figures

  • in 2019, the average (median) annual pay for all civil servants was £27,100 – this figure is based on the annual pay of all civil servants, including the 22% of the workforce whose ethnicity was not known, and includes pay-related allowances such as regional and skills allowances (but not bonuses)
  • of civil servants whose ethnicity was known, Asian and White staff had the lowest average annual pay (£27,200), followed by Black staff (£28,400), staff with Chinese ethnicity (£29,500), and staff from the Mixed ethnic group (£29,600), with staff from the Other ethnic group having the highest (£30,000)
  • Black staff had among the highest average annual pay of all ethnic groups at junior grades whilst White staff had among the lowest annual pay at these grades
  • comparing across regions, for every £1 White staff were paid, Asian staff were paid less than £1 in every region apart from the South West
  • the widest differences in average annual pay between the ethnic groups were among staff at Senior Civil Service Level (the most senior grades) – pay was highest for Chinese staff (£90,500) and lowest for staff in the Mixed ethnic group at (£77,000), a difference of £13,500
  • at every grade except Senior Civil Service level, all ethnic minority groups were paid £1 or more for every £1 paid to White staff

2. Things you need to know

What the data measures

The data measures the average annual pay for civil servants from different ethnic groups. Pay includes allowances such as regional allowances (for example, London weighting) and skills allowances. It does not include bonuses.

The data includes everyone with a Civil Service employment contract. Employees can be permanent, on a fixed-term contract or employed on a casual basis.

The data is based on a snapshot taken on 31 March.

Pay estimates are rounded to the nearest £100.

Not included in the data

The data does not include people working for:

  • the NHS
  • non-departmental public bodies
  • the Civil Service abroad
  • the Northern Ireland Civil Service
  • central government in security posts

It also does not include people who were:

  • not on the payroll, such as contractors
  • not paid during the period covered, such as staff taking unpaid leave

Percentages based on fewer than 5 people are not shown. This is to protect people’s confidentiality, and because the numbers are too small to make reliable generalisations.

The ethnic groups used in the data

Figures are shown for the following 6 ethnic groups:

  • Asian
  • Black
  • Chinese
  • Mixed
  • White
  • Other

This is because the number of people surveyed was too small to make any reliable conclusions about the 18 ethnic groups used in the 2011 Census.

22% of civil servants did not report their ethnicity in 2019.

The figures for ‘All’ include the pay of civil servants whose ethnicity was not known.

Methodology

Read the detailed methodology document for the data on this page.

3. By ethnicity over time

Civil servants' average (median) annual pay, by ethnicity over time
2015 2016 2017 2018 2019
Ethnicity 2015 £ 2015 Headcount 2016 £ 2016 Headcount 2017 £ 2017 Headcount 2018 £ 2018 Headcount 2019 £ 2019 Headcount
All 25,000 439,320 25,400 418,340 25,900 419,400 26,600 430,080 27,100 445,480
Asian 24,700 18,560 25,000 18,690 25,600 19,780 26,700 20,470 27,200 23,190
Black 26,000 10,210 26,500 9,950 26,900 10,230 27,500 10,350 28,400 11,990
Chinese 26,600 890 27,200 880 27,400 910 28,600 960 29,500 1,080
Mixed 26,400 4,410 27,000 4,460 27,500 4,740 28,500 4,950 29,600 6,140
White 25,000 305,550 25,600 284,140 26,000 283,740 26,800 283,300 27,200 304,850
Other 27,800 2,040 28,000 1,710 28,500 1,750 29,100 1,740 30,000 1,980
Unknown 25,000 97,620 25,200 98,510 25,500 98,250 25,900 108,310 26,500 96,260

Download table data for ‘By ethnicity over time’ (CSV) Source data for ‘By ethnicity over time’ (CSV)

Summary of Civil Service pay By ethnicity over time Summary

The data shows that:

  • overall, as at 31 March 2019, the average (median) annual pay for all civil servants was £27,100 – this figure is based on the annual pay of all civil servants, including those whose ethnicity was not known, and includes pay-related allowances such as regional and skills allowances (but not bonuses)
  • in 2019, of those with known ethnicity, Asian and White staff had the lowest average annual pay (£27,200), followed by Black staff (£28,400), staff with Chinese ethnicity (£29,500), and staff from the Mixed ethnic group (£29,600), with staff from the Other ethnic group having the highest (£30,000)
  • average annual pay has increased for each ethnic group between 2015 and 2019 and the order of ethnic groups by annual pay (highest to lowest) has mostly remained unchanged over this period

4. By ethnicity and grade

Civil servants' average (median) annual pay, by ethnicity and grade
Administrative officers and assistants Executive officer Senior and higher executive officer Grades 6 & 7 Senior Civil Service Level Unknown grade
Ethnicity Administrative officers and assistants Average (mean) annual pay Administrative officers and assistants Average pay for every £1 paid to White staff Executive officer Average (mean) annual pay Executive officer Average pay for every £1 paid to White staff Senior and higher executive officer Average (mean) annual pay Senior and higher executive officer Average pay for every £1 paid to White staff Grades 6 & 7 Average (mean) annual pay Grades 6 & 7 Average pay for every £1 paid to White staff Senior Civil Service Level Average (mean) annual pay Senior Civil Service Level Average pay for every £1 paid to White staff Unknown grade Average (mean) annual pay Unknown grade Average pay for every £1 paid to White staff
All 20,200 N/A* 25,700 N/A* 34,400 N/A* 55,000 N/A* 81,200 N/A* 30,300 N/A*
Asian 20,400 £1.01 27,000 £1.05 34,400 £1 55,000 £1 87,700 £1.09 30,200 £1
Black 22,500 £1.11 27,900 £1.09 34,900 £1.01 55,400 £1.01 84,600 £1.05 27,600 91p
Chinese 20,200 £1 26,500 £1.03 35,500 £1.03 55,700 £1.01 90,500 £1.13 30,300 £1
Mixed 20,600 £1.02 26,100 £1.02 34,600 £1.01 54,900 £1 77,000 96p 30,200 £1
White 20,200 N/A* 25,700 N/A* 34,400 N/A* 55,000 N/A* 80,400 N/A* 30,300 N/A*
Other 20,900 £1.03 26,500 £1.03 34,800 £1.01 56,000 £1.02 78,700 98p 30,800 £1.02
Unknown 20,200 £1 25,700 £1 34,000 99p 55,000 £1 83,600 £1.04 31,100 £1.03

Download table data for ‘By ethnicity and grade’ (CSV) Source data for ‘By ethnicity and grade’ (CSV)

Summary of Civil Service pay By ethnicity and grade Summary

The data shows that:

  • in 2019, the average (median) annual pay of civil servants – including regional and skills allowances – varied by grade, from £20,200 for administrative officers and assistants (the most junior grade), rising to £81,200 for staff at Senior Civil Service (SCS) Level
  • in each grade, White staff and those with Mixed ethnicity had among the lowest average annual pay, and Black and Chinese staff had among the highest of all ethnic groups
  • for staff in grades below Senior Civil Service Level, the widest difference in average annual pay was among administrative officers and assistants (the most junior grade) – pay was highest for Black staff (£22,500) and lowest for staff in the Chinese and White ethnic groups (£20,200), a difference of £2,300
  • at every grade except Senior Civil Service level, all ethnic minority groups were paid £1 or more for every £1 paid to White staff
  • the widest differences in average pay between the ethnic groups were among staff at Senior Civil Service Level (the most senior grades) – Chinese staff were paid £1.13 for every £1 paid to White staff, compared with staff in the Mixed ethnic group who were paid 96p for every £1 paid to White staff

5. By ethnicity and area

Civil servants' average (median) annual pay, by ethnicity and area
All Asian Black Chinese Mixed White Other Unknown
Region All Average (mean) annual pay All Average pay for every £1 paid to White staff Asian Average (mean) annual pay Asian Average pay for every £1 paid to White staff Black Average (mean) annual pay Black Average pay for every £1 paid to White staff Chinese Average (mean) annual pay Chinese Average pay for every £1 paid to White staff Mixed Average (mean) annual pay Mixed Average pay for every £1 paid to White staff White Average (mean) annual pay White Average pay for every £1 paid to White staff Other Average (mean) annual pay Other Average pay for every £1 paid to White staff Unknown Average (mean) annual pay Unknown Average pay for every £1 paid to White staff
All 27,100 N/A* 27,200 £1 28,400 £1.04 29,500 £1.04 29,600 £1.09 27,200 N/A* 30,000 £1.10 26,500 97p
North East 24,100 N/A* 20,700 85p 20,200 83p 20,000 82p 24,300 £1 24,300 N/A* 23,600 97p 20,700 85p
North West 25,200 N/A* 20,600 80p 22,700 88p 23,800 93p 24,300 95p 25,700 N/A* 25,700 £1 23,400 91p
Yorkshire and The Humber 25,700 N/A* 24,300 92p 24,300 92p 22,300 84p 25,700 97p 26,500 N/A* 25,900 98p 24,300 92p
East Midlands 25,400 N/A* 22,200 86p 22,100 86p 25,700 £1 25,700 £1 25,700 N/A* 25,700 £1 23,600 92p
West Midlands 25,700 N/A* 24,200 93p 24,800 95p 25,400 97p 24,700 95p 26,100 N/A* 25,200 97p 24,300 93p
East 27,000 N/A* 24,700 91p 27,100 £1 27,100 £1 27,200 £1 27,100 N/A* 27,400 £1.01 26,500 98p
London 34,500 N/A* 30,300 77p 29,400 74p 34,400 87p 34,100 86p 39,500 N/A* 32,200 82p 33,500 85p
South East 27,200 N/A* 25,700 94p 26,800 99p 27,300 £1 27,200 £1 27,200 N/A* 27,000 99p 27,100 £1
South West 29,600 N/A* 30,000 £1 28,500 95p 30,100 £1 27,800 92p 30,100 N/A* 30,300 £1.01 27,100 90p
Wales 25,500 N/A* 24,300 95p 24,300 95p 25,600 £1 24,800 96p 25,700 N/A* 25,700 £1 24,300 95p
Scotland 25,700 N/A* 24,300 93p 24,600 94p 22,300 85p 26,500 £1.01 26,200 N/A* 28,700 £1.10 24,300 93p
Northern Ireland 24,300 N/A* 20,700 85p withheld to protect confidentiality withheld to protect confidentiality withheld to protect confidentiality withheld to protect confidentiality 24,300 £1 24,300 N/A* 24,300 £1 23,400 96p
Unknown 32,000 N/A* 25,700 81p 25,700 81p withheld to protect confidentiality withheld to protect confidentiality 32,400 £1.02 31,700 N/A* withheld to protect confidentiality withheld to protect confidentiality 32,800 £1.03

Download table data for ‘By ethnicity and area’ (CSV) Source data for ‘By ethnicity and area’ (CSV)

Summary of Civil Service pay By ethnicity and area Summary

The data shows that:

  • in 2019, the average (median) annual pay of civil servants varied by region, from £24,100 in the North East to £34,500 in London – figures include regional allowances in some areas
  • in all regions, White staff had among the highest average annual pay
  • in 6 out of 12 regions, Asian staff received the lowest average annual pay out of all ethnic groups for whom ethnicity was known
  • for every £1 White staff were paid, Asian staff were paid less than £1 in every region apart from the South West
  • staff from the Black and Chinese ethnic groups were also among the lowest paid in almost every region, with the exception of Chinese staff in the East Midlands and the South East, who were the highest paid in these regions
  • whilst average annual pay was highest in London for all ethnic groups (ranging from £29,400 for Black staff to £39,500 for White staff), ethnic minority staff were paid on average between 77p and 87p for every £1 that White staff in London were paid
  • other than for the Asian ethnic group, average annual pay was lowest in the North East for each ethnic group (for Mixed and White staff, it was joint lowest in the North East and either North West or Northern Ireland) – for Asian staff, the lowest average annual pay was in the North West

6. Data sources

Source

Type of data

Administrative data

Type of statistic

National Statistics

Publisher

Cabinet Office

Publication frequency

Yearly

Purpose of data source

The Annual Civil Service Employment Survey (ACSES) measures the number of civil servants and diversity across the workforce.

7. Download the data