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Over 16 million women worked in health care and social assistance in 2021

March 07, 2022

March is Women’s History Month, and this year’s theme is “Providing Healing, Promoting Hope.” We celebrate the amazing accomplishments of women who provide healing and hope by looking at women employed in the health care and social assistance industry.

 Women employed in health care and social assistance, 2011 to 2021
Year Total employed Women employed Percent of total employment that are women

2011

18,902,000 14,836,000 78.5%

2012

19,405,000 15,209,000 78.4

2013

19,562,000 15,343,000 78.4

2014

19,577,000 15,379,000 78.6

2015

20,077,000 15,752,000 78.5

2016

20,589,000 16,212,000 78.7

2017

20,720,000 16,271,000 78.5

2018

21,133,000 16,558,000 78.4

2019

21,701,000 16,959,000 78.1

2020

20,736,000 16,141,000 77.8

2021

21,204,000 16,446,000 77.6

In 2021, 16.4 million women were employed in the health care and social assistance industry. This was 77.6 percent of the total 21.2 million workers in the industry. Looking at the component industries that make up health care and social assistance, women counted for 75.0 percent of total employment (5.2 million) in hospitals, 77.4 percent of total employment (8.3 million) in health services, except hospitals, and 84.0 percent of total employment (2.6 million) in social assistance.

 Women employed in detailed health care and social assistance industries, 2021
Industry Number of women employed in industry total employment Percent of total employment that are women

Health care and social assistance

16,446,000 21,204,000 77.6%

Hospitals

5,521,000 7,364,000 75.0

General medical and surgical hospitals, and specialty (except psychiatric and substance abuse) hospitals

5,453,500 7,274,000 75.0

Psychiatric and substance abuse hospitals

67,000 90,000 74.7

Health services, except hospitals

8,283,000 10,696,000 77.4

Offices of physicians

1,182,000 1,579,000 74.8

Offices of dentists

805,000 974,000 82.6

Offices of chiropractors

91,000 142,000 64.2

Offices of optometrists

115,000 152,000 76.0

Offices of other health practitioners

274,000 345,000 79.4

Outpatient care centers

1,617,000 2,071,000 78.1

Home health care services

1,247,000 1,450,000 86.0

Other health care services

1,178,000 1,719,000 68.5

Nursing care facilities (skilled nursing facilities)

1,100,000 1,352,000 81.3

Residential care facilities, except skilled nursing facilities

675,000 911,000 74.1

Social assistance

2,642,000 3,144,000 84.0

Individual and family services

1,226,000 1,586,000 77.3

Community food and housing, and emergency services

114,000 157,000 72.6

Vocational rehabilitation services

52,000 87,000 59.5

Child day care services

1,251,000 1,314,000 95.1

These data are from the Current Population Survey. To learn more, see “Employed persons by detailed industry, sex, race, and Hispanic or Latino ethnicity — 2021.”

SUGGESTED CITATION

Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, The Economics Daily, Over 16 million women worked in health care and social assistance in 2021 at https://www.bls.gov/opub/ted/2022/over-16-million-women-worked-in-health-care-and-social-assistance-in-2021.htm (visited November 29, 2022).

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