Civil Service workforce
Last updated 14 May 2019 - see all updates
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- 1. Navigate to Main facts and figures section
- 2. Navigate toBy ethnicity section
- 3. Navigate toBy ethnicity over time section
- 4. Navigate toBy ethnicity and grade section
- 5. Navigate toBy ethnicity and area section
- 6. Navigate toBy ethnicity and gender section
- 7. Navigate toBy ethnicity and age group section
- 8. Navigate to Methodology section
- 9. Navigate to Data sources section
- 10. Navigate to Download the data section
1. Main facts and figures
- as at 31 March 2018, there were around 430,000 civil servants in the UK
- of staff whose ethnicity was known, 88.0% were White and 12.0% were from all other ethnic groups combined – by comparison, 86.0% of the population of England and Wales described themselves as White in the 2011 Census
- Asian staff made up the second highest percentage of civil servants, at 6.4%; looking at specific grades, Asian staff made up 4.4% of those at the most senior grade (Senior Civil Service), compared with 6.7% and 7.6% of those at the lowest grades (administrative officers and assistants, and executive officers, respectively)
- out of all regions in the UK, London had the highest percentage of staff from the Asian (16.7%), Black (11.6%), Mixed (3.3%), Chinese (0.7%) and the Other (1.3%) ethnic groups
- male civil servants were slightly more likely to be White (89.1%) than female civil servants (87.2%)
- with the exception of the 16 to 19 age group, younger staff were more likely to be from an ethnic minority group (excluding White minorities) – 17.1% of staff aged 20 to 29 years were from these groups, compared with 8.1% of those aged 60 to 64 years
The ethnic categories used in this data
This data is broken down into the following 6 broad groups:
- Mixed/Multiple ethnic groups
- Other ethnic group
These were chosen because the number of people becomes too small to be reliable when broken down both by ethnicity (in detailed categories) and by another factor like age group. Data is therefore grouped to a size where estimates become reliable.
2. By ethnicity
Summary of Civil Service workforce By ethnicity Summary
3. By ethnicity over time
|Ethnicity||2015 %||2015 Headcount||2016 %||2016 Headcount||2017 %||2017 Headcount||2018 %||2018 Headcount|
Summary of Civil Service workforce By ethnicity over time Summary
4. By ethnicity and grade
|Grade||Asian %||Asian Headcount||Black %||Black Headcount||Chinese %||Chinese Headcount||Mixed %||Mixed Headcount||White %||White Headcount||Other %||Other Headcount|
|Administrative officers and assistants||6.7||7,150||3.3||3,480||0.3||280||1.3||1,390||87.9||93,470||0.5||510|
|Senior and higher executive officer||5.7||4,670||2.8||2,350||0.4||300||1.7||1,370||88.9||73,170||0.5||450|
|Grades 6 & 7||4.4||1,540||1.9||650||0.4||130||2.0||690||90.7||31,820||0.7||240|
|Senior Civil Service||4.4||190||1.2||50||0.3||10||1.4||60||92.2||3,920||0.6||20|
Summary of Civil Service workforce By ethnicity and grade Summary
5. By ethnicity and area
|Region or Country||Asian %||Asian Headcount||Black %||Black Headcount||Chinese %||Chinese Headcount||Mixed %||Mixed Headcount||White %||White Headcount||Other %||Other Headcount|
|Yorkshire and The Humber||6.2||1,580||1.3||340||0.2||50||1.2||310||90.7||22,990||0.3||90|
|Northern Ireland||0.2||10||withheld to protect confidentiality||withheld to protect confidentiality||withheld to protect confidentiality||withheld to protect confidentiality||0.3||10||99.2||2,940||withheld to protect confidentiality||withheld to protect confidentiality|
Summary of Civil Service workforce By ethnicity and area Summary
6. By ethnicity and gender
|Ethnicity||Male %||Male Headcount||Female %||Female Headcount|
Summary of Civil Service workforce By ethnicity and gender Summary
7. By ethnicity and age group
|Ethnicity||Asian %||Asian Headcount||Black %||Black Headcount||Chinese %||Chinese Headcount||Mixed %||Mixed Headcount||White %||White Headcount||Other %||Other Headcount||Unknown %||Unknown Headcount|
|Aged 16-19||7.7||60||1.7||10||withheld to protect confidentiality||withheld to protect confidentiality||2.8||20||87.2||650||withheld to protect confidentiality||withheld to protect confidentiality||N/A*||860|
|Aged 65 & Over||7.2||430||2.4||150||0.3||20||0.8||50||88.6||5,330||0.8||50||N/A*||1,540|
Summary of Civil Service workforce By ethnicity and age group Summary
All Civil Service departments are asked for details of employees on their payroll on a certain date in the year (currently 31st March). They are are also asked to provide information about staff who left the Civil Service in the last 12 months. All Civil Service employees are included, so no weighting is required.
The grade categories, from senior to junior are:
- Senior Civil Service (SCS)
- grades 6 and 7
- higher and senior executive officers
- executive officers
- administrative officers and assistants
Government departments use different ways of grading staff - some use numbers, some use pay bands, and others use descriptors (for example, Senior Policy Advisor).
The concept of broad ‘responsibility levels’ is therefore used, in which departmental grades have been assigned to levels which are broadly equivalent in terms of pay and job weight.
Headcount statistics are based on the number of employees with an employment contract who are being paid as civil servants. Employees can be permanent, on a fixed-term contract or employed on a casual basis.
Suppression rules and disclosure control
Values based on fewer than 5 responses have been suppressed.
‘Suppression’ means these figures have not been included in the data, to protect confidentiality and because the numbers involved are too small to draw any reliable conclusions.
Total staff numbers are rounded to the nearest 10.
9. Data sources
Type of data
Type of statistic
Purpose of data source
The Annual Civil Service Employment Survey (ACSES) is carried out to measure the numbers employed in the Civil Service, and to measure diversity across the workforce.
10. Download the data
This file contains the following: ethnicity, year, gender, geography, age group, grade, value, number