For the first time, the 2021 Census asked about current and former service in the Australian Defence Force (ADF). This new data will assist in the development of policy and planning, including determining the most beneficial locations across Australia to offer services to veterans.
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. Less than one in seven (13.4 per cent) of Australia’s former serving members are female, although the proportion is a bit higher at over one in five (20.6 per cent) for current serving members. One in twenty (5.3 per cent) of Australian households reported at least one person who had served or is serving in the ADF. 3,159 (3.7 per cent) of currently serving Australian Defence Force members, and 11,610 (2.3 per cent) of previously served, identify as having Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander origin.
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