The vast majority of residential long-term care workers are women: Gender composition of the residential long-term care workforce, overall and by occupation group, compared with the overall workforce

Group Men Women
All workers 52.6% 47.4%
All residential long-term care workers 19.1% 80.9%
Nursing homes 16.1% 83.9%
Residential care facilities 24.9% 75.1%
Direct care workers 11.5% 88.5%
Registered nurses 10.6% 89.4%
Licensed practical nurses 9.0% 91.0%
Food service workers 34.3% 65.7%
Cleaning and maintenance workers 33.7% 66.3%

Notes: To ensure sufficient sample sizes and reflect the “normal” pre-pandemic state of this industry, this figure draws from pooled 2015–2019 microdata. AAPI stands for Asian American and Pacific Islander. “Residential long-term care workers” refers to workers in nursing homes and residential care facilities. Direct care workers are those in the occupational categories “nursing, psychiatric, and home health aides” and “personal and home care aides.” For definitions of detailed industries, see extended notes.

“Community care facilities for the elderly” includes both assisted living facilities and continuing care retirement communities (such as assisted living facilities that have skilled nursing available on site). “Residential mental health facilities” includes residential facilities for people with intellectual or development disabilities and for people with mental health or substance abuse illnesses. “Other residential care facilities” include group homes for the hearing or visually impaired, orphanages, and group homes for people transitioning out of incarceration. 

Source: Authors’ analysis of 2015–2019 Current Population Survey microdata.

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