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Immediate Release

Defense Department Report Shows Decline in Armed Forces Population While Percentage of Military Women Rises Slightly

The Defense Department's newly released 2022 Demographics Profile of the Military Community shows the number of service members dropped 2.7% over the previous year while the percentage of women in the military inched upward.

According to the annual demographics report, the active-duty and selected reserve population was 58,282 lower than in 2021, for a total of 2,077,630 service members. Over the same period, the percentage of women increased slightly – rising to 17.5% of the active duty force from 17.3% and 21.6% of the selected reserve from 21.4%. Since 2005, the percentage of active duty military women has increased by 2.9% while the percentage of women in the selected reserve has risen by 4.4%. The annual report contains the latest publicly available information on the makeup of the military community, including service members and their dependents.

Data highlighted in the report includes information from all services, including gender, race, age, education, family members, paygrades and geographic location. It provides a standard resource for policymakers, program planners and those doing analysis to support the military community. 

"The Demographics Profile of the Military Community and research conducted by the Department ensures we have the quality data we need to understand and respond to the ever-changing needs of our service members and their families," said Patricia Montes Barron, deputy assistant secretary of defense for Military Community and Family Policy.  "The updated demographic data and trends help the Department assess and tailor our policies and programs to best support our Service members and their families."

The annual demographics profile report is the only comprehensive, publicly released snapshot of armed forces demographics from the Defense Department. It provides a detailed look at the people who make up the military community — active duty and reserve members and their families from all service branches. 

Data from the 2022 report can be viewed in a fully interactive dashboard that allows users to select and view the latest available demographic data by various criteria, such as service branch, gender, paygrade and state of current residence.

To capture data unique to reserve component women in the military, the 2022 demographics profile features a new interactive infographic to display key demographics related to their personal, family and military life. This infographic compliments the interactive infographic of women in the active-duty military launched with the 2021 demographics profile.

The annual demographics report is available on Military OneSource.

About Military OneSource

Military OneSource is a DOD-funded program that is both a call center and a website providing comprehensive information, resources and assistance on every aspect of military life. Service members and the families of active duty, National Guard and reserve (regardless of activation status), Coast Guard members when activated for the Navy, DOD expeditionary civilians and survivors are eligible for Military OneSource services, which are available worldwide 24 hours a day, seven days a week, free to the user.

About Military Community and Family Policy 

Military Community and Family Policy is directly responsible for establishing and overseeing quality-of-life policies and programs that help our service members, their families and survivors be well and mission ready. Military OneSource is the gateway to programs and services that support the everyday needs of the 4.5 million service members and immediate family members of the military community. These DOD services can be accessed 24/7/365 around the world.