Civil Service workforce
Last updated 3 March 2021 - see all updates
- 1. Navigate toMain facts and figures section
- 2. Navigate toThings you need to know section
- 3. Navigate toBy ethnicity section
- 4. Navigate toBy ethnicity over time section
- 5. Navigate toBy ethnicity and grade section
- 6. Navigate toBy ethnicity and area section
- 7. Navigate toBy ethnicity and gender section
- 8. Navigate toBy ethnicity and age group section
- 9. Navigate toData sources section
- 10. Navigate toDownload the data section
1. Main facts and figures
- there were around 445,480 UK civil servants working in the UK and overseas at the end of March 2019
- 87.3% of civil servants were from the White ethnic group (compared with 85.6% of the working age population in the 2011 Census)
- 6.6% of civil servants were Asian, 3.4% were Black, 1.8% had Mixed ethnicity, 0.6% were from the Other ethnic group, and 0.3% were from the Chinese ethnic group
- out of all regions in the UK, London had the highest percentage of staff from each of the ethnic minority groups
- male civil servants were more likely to be White (88.3%) than female civil servants (86.5%)
- excluding the 16 to 19 and 65+ groups, the younger staff were, the more likely they were to be from ethnic minorities (excluding White minorities)
2. Things you need to know
What the data measures
The data shows the number and percentage of civil servants from different ethnic groups.
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 each year. It shows the total number of civil servants regardless of whether they worked full time or part time.
Total staff numbers are rounded to the nearest 10. This means some figures may not add up to the totals shown.
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:
This is because the number of people surveyed was too small to make any reliable conclusions about any of the 18 ethnic groups used in the 2011 Census.
The ethnicity was not known for 22% of civil servants in 2019. Percentages are based on staff whose ethnicity was known.
Read the detailed methodology document for the data on this page.
Comparisons with the working age population use 2011 Census data for England and Wales. They are not meant to be exact comparisons. This is because the data for civil servants covers a different geographic area (UK and abroad).
3. By ethnicity
Summary of Civil Service workforce By ethnicity Summary
4. By ethnicity over time
|Ethnicity||2015 %||2015 Headcount||2016 %||2016 Headcount||2017 %||2017 Headcount||2018 %||2018 Headcount||2019 %||2019 Headcount|
Summary of Civil Service workforce By ethnicity over time Summary
5. 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||7.0||7,560||3.4||3,700||0.3||290||1.5||1,590||87.4||94,840||0.5||540|
|Senior and higher executive officer||6.1||5,580||3.1||2,860||0.4||350||1.9||1,740||87.9||80,310||0.6||550|
|Grades 6 & 7||4.9||2,010||2.0||830||0.4||160||2.3||920||89.7||36,490||0.7||290|
|Senior Civil Service Level||4.2||210||1.3||70||0.3||20||1.7||90||91.9||4,550||0.5||20|
Summary of Civil Service workforce By ethnicity and grade Summary
6. By ethnicity and area
|Region||Asian %||Asian Headcount||Black %||Black Headcount||Chinese %||Chinese Headcount||Mixed %||Mixed Headcount||White %||White Headcount||Other %||Other Headcount|
|Yorkshire and The Humber||6.6||1,820||1.4||390||0.2||50||1.2||340||90.2||24,690||0.3||90|
|Northern Ireland||0.2||10||withheld to protect confidentiality||withheld to protect confidentiality||withheld to protect confidentiality||withheld to protect confidentiality||0.6||20||98.9||3,040||0.2||10|
|Unknown||N/A*||60||N/A*||10||N/A*||not collected||N/A*||20||N/A*||840||N/A*||withheld to protect confidentiality|
Summary of Civil Service workforce By ethnicity and area Summary
7. By ethnicity and gender
|Ethnicity||Male %||Male Headcount||Female %||Female Headcount|
Summary of Civil Service workforce By ethnicity and gender Summary
8. 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||6.9||60||1.2||10||withheld to protect confidentiality||withheld to protect confidentiality||3.0||30||88.5||790||withheld to protect confidentiality||withheld to protect confidentiality||N/A*||690|
|Aged 65 & Over||7.1||490||2.6||180||0.3||20||0.9||60||88.5||6,180||0.7||50||N/A*||1,620|
Summary of Civil Service workforce By ethnicity and age group Summary
9. Data sources
Type of data
Type of statistic
Purpose of data source
The Annual Civil Service Employment Survey (ACSES) measures the number of civil servants and diversity across the workforce.