Veterans in Canada released since 1998 : a sex-disaggregated profile

Veterans in Canada released since 1998 : a sex-disaggregated profile

Year published

Females account for about 14% of the Canadian Veteran population yet there has been limited research into how they may differ from male Veterans.

What is this Research About?

This report looks at how female Veterans compare to male Veterans in terms of military service, demographics and well-being. Creating this sex-disaggregated profile of the Veteran population captured in the Life After Service Studies will provide a reference for future work in the area of sex and gender in the Canadian Veteran population.

What did the Researchers Do?

Researchers used survey and income data to create a profile of Veterans by breaking down demographic, service and well-being characteristics for both male and female Veterans. In total, more than 40 indicators were examined across seven domains of well-being: health, purpose, finances, social integration, life skills, housing and physical environment, as well as culture and social environment.

What did the Researchers Find?

Almost one-quarter (23%) of Reserve Force C Veterans were female. There was a smaller proportion of females among Reserve Force A/B Veterans (19%) and Regular Force Veterans (13%).

Female and male Veterans were similar in many military service, demographic and well-being characteristics. However, female Veterans differed from males in some indicators of health, purpose and finances.

Compared to male Veterans, female Veterans are more likely to have:

  • Served in the air force
  • Shorter military careers
  • Worked in administrative or medical occupations
  • Left the military for medical reasons
  • Reported activity limitation
  • Experienced low income after release from the military
  • Experienced greater income reductions after release from the military

Compared to female Veterans, male Veterans are more likely to have:

  • Served in the army
  • Worked in combat arms, engineering and technical jobs
  • Reported work as their main activity after release


MacLean MB, Clow B, Ralling A, Sweet J, Poirier A, Buss J, Pound T, and Rodd B. (2018). Veterans in Canada released since 1998: A Sex-disaggregated Profile. Veterans Affairs Canada, Research Directorate Technical Report; September 24, 2018.