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2021 Census: Veterans more likely to be working full-time

Media Release

Analysis of data from the 2021 Census has delivered key insights into education, employment and income for the half million former service members (496,300) of the Australian Defence Force (2.4 per cent of the Australian population aged 15 years and over).

Former service members of the Australian Defence Force (ADF) aged between 15-64 were more likely to be engaged in full time work (56.0 per cent) than people who had never served (43.9 per cent).

The Census also found that former service members were also more likely to work long hours. In the week before the 2021 Census, former service members (15.2 per cent) were almost twice as likely to report working 50 or more hours compared to those who had never served (8.9 per cent).

Females aged 15-64 who had served, reported higher median weekly hours worked in the week prior to Census night (38 hours) than females who had never served (32 hours).

Duncan Young, General Manager, Census said, “The 2021 Census was the first Census to ask questions about service in the Australian Defence Force.

“Serving in the ADF provides a unique variety of opportunities and experiences, and can have a significant impact on a person’s life after their service period.

“The latest release of Census data allows the ABS to analyse information on work and education for current and former service members of the ADF.

“Police Officer was the most common occupation for male former service members aged between 25-44 (2,600 people) and the second most common occupation for female former service members aged between 25-44 (317 people).

“The data also showed higher levels of volunteering for former service members aged 25-44 when compared to people who have never served in the ADF”.

Former service members aged 15-64 are more likely to work in areas that contribute services to the public, with 17.8 per cent working in the Public Administration and Safety industry, compared to only 6.0 per cent of those who never served. The most common field of study for those aged 25-64 was Engineering and Related Technologies (25.1 per cent compared to 13.8 per cent of those who never served).

Data also showed that almost 30 per cent of all former service members lived in Queensland compared to 20 per cent of the Australian population.

“This data helps us better address the needs of Australia’s veterans by providing key information about their work and education, supporting service delivery by the Department of Veterans’ Affairs, Defence and community groups,” Duncan Young said.

The ABS analysis is available in the article Characteristics of previous Australian Defence Force personnel.

Media notes

  • When reporting ABS data you must attribute the Australian Bureau of Statistics (or the ABS) as the source.
  • For media requests and interviews, contact the ABS Media Team via media@abs.gov.au (8.30am-5pm Mon-Fri).
  • Search for 2021 Census data through the QuickStats tool.
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