Special Report

These 12 States Have The Most Domestic Workers

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Domestic workers clean houses, cook meals, care for children, and provide in-home aid to frail older adults. For many families, the service they provide is incalculable. All told, 2.2 million people across the U.S., mostly women, work in this field, yet that figure is likely an undercount because many are paid “under the table” and hesitant to officially report their employment. Since many are immigrants, they are unlikely to participate in surveys regarding their job status.

More than 90% of domestic workers are women, and about a third are foreign born, according to a recent report from the the Economic Policy Institute. In fact, domestic workers are “twice as likely” as other U.S. employees to come from another country, the EPI notes. Of the 2.2 million, the vast majority work as home health care aides. And more will be needed in the cities that will age the most by 2060.

Domestic workers also toil for much less pay than other U.S. workers. The median hourly pay for domestic workers is $13.79 compared to $21.76 for non-domestic laborers. In addition to low pay, the pandemic hit the domestic workforce hard, with many finding themselves out of work due to COVID-19 restrictions. And those who continued to work often did not possess the proper protective equipment. (In contrast, these are the 36 jobs with wages rising faster than inflation.)

To identify the states with the most domestic workers, 24/7 Wall St. reviewed data from the Domestic Workers Chartbook 2022 report, compiled and published by the Economic Policy Institute. We listed the 12 states. States are ranked by the share of workers in domestic occupations as a share of the total workforce in 2021. Totals may not add up due to rounding. Data on the share of the population under the age of 15 and the share of the population 65 and older came from the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2021 American Community Survey. 

Going by state, New Yorkers employ the most domestic workers as a percentage of all workers. Totaling 248,462, domestic workers make up 2.7% of the workforce in the Empire State. Two-thirds work as in-home care aids, most likely taking care of the state’s 3.5 million people in the state over age 65.

No. 2 New Mexico is home to far fewer domestic workers at 19,930, but they account for 2.2% of the state’s workforce. California comes in third, with 340,776 people employed in domestic work, or 1.9% of the workforce.

Click here to see which states domestic workers hold the most jobs in.

12. Oregon
> Total domestic workers (incl. nannies, in-home care aids, and house cleaners): 1.5% of workforce (28,311 total)
> Total house cleaners: 8.7% of domestic workforce – 18th lowest (2,456 total)
> Total child care nannies: 10.4% of domestic workforce – 20th highest (2,938 total)
> Total in-home care aids: 66.8% of domestic workforce – 19th highest (18,913 total)
> Pop. age 14 and under: 16.6% of total – 8th lowest (705,609)
> Pop. age 65 and over: 18.6% of total – 11th highest (789,896)

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11. Massachusetts
> Total domestic workers (incl. nannies, in-home care aids, and house cleaners): 1.5% of workforce (51,104 total)
> Total house cleaners: 11.0% of domestic workforce – 21st highest (5,616 total)
> Total child care nannies: 11.9% of domestic workforce – 12th highest (6,071 total)
> Total in-home care aids: 66.4% of domestic workforce – 21st highest (33,923 total)
> Pop. age 14 and under: 15.9% of total – 5th lowest (1,113,416)
> Pop. age 65 and over: 17.4% of total – 25th highest (1,216,447)

10. Alaska
> Total domestic workers (incl. nannies, in-home care aids, and house cleaners): 1.5% of workforce (5,111 total)
> Total house cleaners: 3.5% of domestic workforce – the lowest (179 total)
> Total child care nannies: 8.2% of domestic workforce – 13th lowest (418 total)
> Total in-home care aids: 72.3% of domestic workforce – 6th highest (3,693 total)
> Pop. age 14 and under: 20.6% of total – 3rd highest (150,776)
> Pop. age 65 and over: 13.4% of total – 3rd lowest (98,410)

9. Maine
> Total domestic workers (incl. nannies, in-home care aids, and house cleaners): 1.5% of workforce (10,082 total)
> Total house cleaners: 8.2% of domestic workforce – 17th lowest (831 total)
> Total child care nannies: 8.8% of domestic workforce – 18th lowest (885 total)
> Total in-home care aids: 68.5% of domestic workforce – 13th highest (6,903 total)
> Pop. age 14 and under: 14.8% of total – 2nd lowest (203,364)
> Pop. age 65 and over: 21.7% of total – the highest (297,101)

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8. Minnesota
> Total domestic workers (incl. nannies, in-home care aids, and house cleaners): 1.5% of workforce (45,631 total)
> Total house cleaners: 4.5% of domestic workforce – 2nd lowest (2,041 total)
> Total child care nannies: 9.7% of domestic workforce – 25th lowest (4,446 total)
> Total in-home care aids: 61.3% of domestic workforce – 17th lowest (27,955 total)
> Pop. age 14 and under: 18.9% of total – 16th highest (1,078,532)
> Pop. age 65 and over: 16.8% of total – 19th lowest (959,272)

7. West Virginia
> Total domestic workers (incl. nannies, in-home care aids, and house cleaners): 1.6% of workforce (11,993 total)
> Total house cleaners: 5.6% of domestic workforce – 4th lowest (667 total)
> Total child care nannies: 2.9% of domestic workforce – the lowest (350 total)
> Total in-home care aids: 87.9% of domestic workforce – the highest (10,536 total)
> Pop. age 14 and under: 16.6% of total – 9th lowest (296,768)
> Pop. age 65 and over: 20.7% of total – 3rd highest (368,775)

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6. Texas
> Total domestic workers (incl. nannies, in-home care aids, and house cleaners): 1.6% of workforce (205,039 total)
> Total house cleaners: 18.5% of domestic workforce – 7th highest (37,915 total)
> Total child care nannies: 7.5% of domestic workforce – 10th lowest (15,384 total)
> Total in-home care aids: 68.5% of domestic workforce – 14th highest (140,367 total)
> Pop. age 14 and under: 20.8% of total – 2nd highest (6,153,960)
> Pop. age 65 and over: 13.2% of total – 2nd lowest (3,892,411)

5. Vermont
> Total domestic workers (incl. nannies, in-home care aids, and house cleaners): 1.6% of workforce (5,650 total)
> Total house cleaners: 8.8% of domestic workforce – 20th lowest (500 total)
> Total child care nannies: 8.3% of domestic workforce – 16th lowest (470 total)
> Total in-home care aids: 63.0% of domestic workforce – 21st lowest (3,562 total)
> Pop. age 14 and under: 14.8% of total – the lowest (95,294)
> Pop. age 65 and over: 20.6% of total – 4th highest (133,173)

4. Connecticut
> Total domestic workers (incl. nannies, in-home care aids, and house cleaners): 1.7% of workforce (31,120 total)
> Total house cleaners: 14.5% of domestic workforce – 17th highest (4,518 total)
> Total child care nannies: 11.1% of domestic workforce – 15th highest (3,458 total)
> Total in-home care aids: 61.8% of domestic workforce – 19th lowest (19,227 total)
> Pop. age 14 and under: 16.3% of total – 7th lowest (587,062)
> Pop. age 65 and over: 18.0% of total – 16th highest (649,172)

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3. California
> Total domestic workers (incl. nannies, in-home care aids, and house cleaners): 1.9% of workforce (340,776 total)
> Total house cleaners: 18.6% of domestic workforce – 6th highest (63,516 total)
> Total child care nannies: 8.3% of domestic workforce – 14th lowest (28,168 total)
> Total in-home care aids: 64.8% of domestic workforce – 25th highest (220,884 total)
> Pop. age 14 and under: 18.4% of total – 20th highest (7,216,595)
> Pop. age 65 and over: 15.2% of total – 6th lowest (5,964,526)

2. New Mexico
> Total domestic workers (incl. nannies, in-home care aids, and house cleaners): 2.2% of workforce (19,930 total)
> Total house cleaners: 9.2% of domestic workforce – 23rd lowest (1,829 total)
> Total child care nannies: 3.8% of domestic workforce – 2nd lowest (758 total)
> Total in-home care aids: 86.4% of domestic workforce – 2nd highest (17,229 total)
> Pop. age 14 and under: 18.3% of total – 23rd highest (387,664)
> Pop. age 65 and over: 18.5% of total – 12th highest (391,797)

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1. New York
> Total domestic workers (incl. nannies, in-home care aids, and house cleaners): 2.7% of workforce (248,462 total)
> Total house cleaners: 10.7% of domestic workforce – 23rd highest (26,567 total)
> Total child care nannies: 6.5% of domestic workforce – 6th lowest (16,162 total)
> Total in-home care aids: 76.5% of domestic workforce – 4th highest (189,954 total)
> Pop. age 14 and under: 17.1% of total – 12th lowest (3,392,664)
> Pop. age 65 and over: 17.5% of total – 24th highest (3,477,337)

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