Census reveals nearly 600,000 veterans in Australia

For the first time ever, the 2021 Census found more than half a million Australians (581,139) have served, or are currently serving, in the ADF. There are 84,865 current serving members and 496,276 former serving members. 

The Census 2021 data release also outlined key demographic information among the current and former serving ADF population. 

The Census shows that 13.4 per cent of our veteran population are female. The largest age group for veterans is 65-74 years of age, and 90 per cent of these veterans are male. The largest demographic group of current serving members are aged between 25-29 years (17.2 per cent). With the largest Army base in the country, Townsville is home to both the most veterans (8,700) and current serving ADF members (5,500).

Key insights identified in the census will assist with knowing total veteran population and other key factors such as demographics, employment, education and health status, which is pivotal for the Australian Government to target services and support to the right areas.

Unsurprisingly, the Census 2021 results show that veterans are more likely to participate in volunteer work compared to the general population, attesting to the incredible contributions our veterans make to the community throughout their lives. 

To learn more about the results of the Census 2021, including more detail on Defence service, visit the ABS website.