Civil Service pay


1. Main facts and figures

  • in 2023, the median annual pay for all civil servants was £31,920 – 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
  • civil servants from the 'other' ethnic group had the highest median annual pay (£34,170)
  • Asian (£31,280) civil servants had the lowest median annual pay
  • black civil servants had among the highest median annual pay out of all ethnic groups at junior grades (AA, AO and EO)
  • out of all regions, the biggest difference in pay between ethnic groups was in London – pay was highest for white civil servants (£45,010) and lowest for black civil servants (£32,960)
  • out of all grades, the biggest difference in pay between ethnic groups was at Senior Civil Service level (the most senior grades) – pay was highest for Asian civil servants (£86,460) and lowest for those in the mixed ethnic group (£81,600)

2. Things you need to know

What the data measures

The data measures the median annual pay for civil servants from different ethnic groups.

The median is the middle point of a range of numbers which are arranged in order from highest to lowest.

Data on civil servants’ pay is taken on 31 March every year.

There are 2 measures of the senior Civil Service:

  • the Senior Civil Service
  • ‘SCS Level’, which also includes some senior professionals in health, military and diplomatic roles

The data uses the ‘SCS Level’ measure. As a result, figures may be different to those used for monitoring the diversity of the Senior Civil Service

Annual pay is rounded to the nearest £100 for 2015 to 2018, and the nearest £10 for 2019 to 2023. Numbers of civil servants are rounded to the nearest 10 people for 2015 to 2022, and to the nearest 5 for 2023. Data from 2015 to 2018 is not included in this page but is available in the data file.

Not included in the data

The data does not include people working for:

  • the NHS
  • non-departmental public bodies
  • the Northern Ireland Civil Service, which supports the devolved government in Northern Ireland
  • central government in security posts

It also excludes people:

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

Values based on fewer than 5 people are not shown. Zero responses and salaries for less than 30 civil servants have been suppressed for GDPR special category data (more information is available in the detailed methodology document for this data). This is to protect people’s confidentiality, and because the numbers are too small to make reliable generalisations. These values are shown as ‘!’ in the data file.

The ethnic groups used in this data

Data is shown for the following 5 ethnic groups:

  • Asian
  • black
  • mixed
  • white
  • 'other'

This is because the number of people surveyed was too small to make any reliable conclusions about any of the 19 ethnic groups used in the 2021 Census.

Before 2022, civil servants who identified as Chinese were in a separate Chinese ethnic group. Since 2022, they have been grouped under the ‘Asian’ ethnic group – this may affect comparisons with previous years.

19% of civil servants did not report their ethnicity in 2023. The overall figures include civil servants whose ethnicity was not known.


Read the detailed methodology document for this data.

The data includes all Civil Service staff working in the UK and those on Civil Service contracts located overseas on a specific date (31 March 2023) and not throughout the whole year. It was collected as part of the Annual Civil Service Employment Survey.

As at 31 March 2023, the total number of Civil Service employees was 519,780 (487,665 full-time staff). You can see data on ethnic diversity in the Civil Service workforce.

In the data file

Download the data for breakdowns that include civil servants joining and leaving the Civil Service.

3. By ethnicity over time

Civil servants' average (median) annual pay, by ethnicity over time
Asian Black Chinese Mixed White Other
Time Asian £ Asian Headcount Black £ Black Headcount Chinese £ Chinese Headcount Mixed £ Mixed Headcount White £ White Headcount Other £ Other Headcount
2019 27,210 23,190 28,450 11,990 29,550 1,080 29,590 6,140 27,210 304,850 30,000 1,980
2020 28,010 25,870 29,560 12,800 30,880 1,110 30,820 6,800 28,150 320,580 30,730 2,230
2021 29,080 29,160 30,690 15,600 32,300 1,250 31,060 8,260 29,040 340,400 31,790 2,590
2022 29,500 33,650 31,060 17,080 N/A* N/A* 31,170 9,170 30,130 354,830 31,880 2,650
2023 31,280 35,355 32,520 17,290 N/A* N/A* 32,790 9,720 32,080 358,340 34,170 2,825

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

4. Data sources


Type of data

Administrative data

Type of statistic

National Statistics


Cabinet Office

Publication frequency


Purpose of data source

Civil Service Statistics presents detailed information on the UK Civil Service workforce as at 31 March 2023, including on pay, diversity and location.

5. Download the data

Civil Service Pay 2015 to 2023 - Spreadsheet (csv) 8 MB

This file contains the following: measure, employment status, time, time_type, age, ethnicity, ethnicity_type, geography, geography_type, gender, grade, headcount, value (GBP £), value_type