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About the State of Caring survey

The State of Caring survey is the UK’s most comprehensive regular research into the lives and experiences of unpaid carers. 


State of Caring survey 2023

Thank you to everyone who filled in the State of Caring survey 2023. Over 11,000 carers shared their views with us. We are sharing the results in a series of reports.


The impact of caring on: employment

Nearly half of working age carers lose £12,000 of income per year because they provide care

This new report by Carers Scotland sets out the struggles that unpaid carers face in juggling paid work and unpaid care and the support that can help them stay in or return to work.

  • 56% of carers juggle paid employment alongside 35 hours or more of unpaid care.

  • 32% of carers of working age have given up work to care and 27% have had to reduce their working hours.

  • 24% of working age carers say they gave up work or cut hours because of a lack of social care services.

  • 20% of carers who gave up work to care said that an unsupportive workplace was one of the reasons for leaving employment.

More than half (56%) of the working carers who responded to Carers Scotland’s State of Caring survey were caring for 35 hours or more each week – equivalent to a full-time job – as well as working in paid employment or self-employment - either full or part-time.

Find the full report on employment here.


The impact of caring on: health

The demands of caring pushing unpaid carers to the brink 

A new report published by Carers Scotland shows the devastating impact the health and social care crisis is having on the health of Scotland’s 800,000 unpaid carers. 

  • Over a quarter of carers (28%) said their mental health is bad or very bad, rising to 37% for carers on Carer’s Allowance.

  • A third (36%) of carers said that they had thoughts related to self-harm or suicide.

  • Over half (54%) of carers said that their physical health had suffered because of their caring role, with one in five (20%) suffering a physical injury from caring.  

The results of a survey of over 1,700 Scottish unpaid carers shows the ongoing struggle that they are facing to access the services and support they need to care and manage their health and wellbeing.  Despite their huge contribution to the Scottish economy, to our communities and to the lives of the people they care for, carers are facing deteriorating physical and mental health, loneliness and isolation with too many driven to deep mental despair as they are denied the support they need to maintain a healthy life. 

Find the full report on health here.


The impact of caring on: finances 

Unpaid carers in Scotland fave devastating financial hardship

The report, which presents the results of a survey of over 1,770 unpaid carers, shows that those who are in receipt of Carer’s Allowance, the main benefit for unpaid carers, have been hit particularly hard by rising prices and the cost-of-living crisis.

  • More than a quarter of carers (28%) and 41% of carers on Carer’s Allowance are struggling to make ends meet.

  • 44% of carers on Carer’s Allowance are cutting back on food and heating.

  • One in six carers on Carer’s Allowance are visiting foodbanks.

Four in ten (41%) said that they were struggling to make ends meet and had to cut their expenses to the bone and were falling into debt and arrears as a result.

Even more concerningly, the number of unpaid carers on Carer’s Allowance cutting back on essentials continues to grow, more than doubling since 2021. Today, 44% of these carers are cutting back on food and heating versus 22% just two years ago. This has led to one in six (16%) carers on benefits being forced to visit foodbanks.  

Worryingly the level of rent or mortgage arrears has rocketed for all carers, with one in six (16%) struggling to meet these costs. With carers ability to increase their incomes restricted by their caring responsibilities, many carers reported fears of losing their homes.  

Find the full report on finances here.

Read our previous State of Caring reports:


2022 - Cost of Living Crisis


Read the Employment report for State of Caring 2023

Juggling Paid Employment And Unpaid Care A State Of Caring Report FINAL (1)



Read the Health report for State of Caring 2023

State Of Caring 2023 A Health And Social Care Crisis For Carers In Scotland Online



Read the Finances report for State of Caring 2023

State Of Caring In Scotland 2023 Finances.Fv


Get in touch:

If you have any questions about this research, please contact our policy team by emailing

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