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According to State/FLO, the total adult family member population of the Foreign Service in 2013 is 11,528. This number was 9,243 in 2007 and 9,819 in 2009. Family members are 78% female and 64% are not working. Male family members are slowly expanding in numbers; they constitute 20% of the family member population in 2007, 19% in 2009 and is up 22% last year.
Of the 36% working , 24% works inside the U.S. mission with only 12% working in the local economy. The total number of family members employed was 25% in 2009. While more jobs have become available since 2009, the FS family member population has also expanded by 1,711 in the last four years. Of the 64% not working or 7,392 family members — the FLO data does not provide insight into how many of these have opted to stay home voluntarily and how many are interested in working but could not find work overseas.
We should note that the State Department has created an Expanded Professional Associates Program (EPAP) for family member employment. These are professional level Foreign Service full-time positions, centrally funded by the Department of State and some through ICASS (as opposed to post-funded positions). But the program only provides “186 filled EPAP positions in total.” Not all family members would like to work, of course, but for those interested in professional level positions, 186 EPAP positions amount to a 1.6% drop in a universe with 11,528 individuals.
The 2011-2013 data indicates that the largest number of FS family members at post is located in the EUR bureau (3,319) followed by the WHA bureau (2,716). However, the total number of family members employed at post is highest in the South Central Asia countries, followed by posts in Africa. The South Central Asia bureau only has 615 family members at post, the lowest number among regional bureaus but at 53%, it has the highest number of employment among family members. The SCA bureau includes Afghanistan and Pakistan where adult family members are allowed to accompany employees pending job availability at post and “M”bureau approval .
The top leading locations for family member employment have not changed. As in 2009, the top leading posts for family member employment in 2013 are located in the following bureaus:
#1 South Central Asia (see posts here)
#2 Africa (see posts here)
#3 Near East Asia (see posts here)
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