Gender Equality Month

Jonathan Kaupanger
March 05, 2018 - 2:44 pm

DoD photo


Women veterans are younger, make less money but are better educated and work more than their male counterparts.  This is according to a special “Profile of Veterans” report, recently released by the Department of Veterans Affairs. 

As of September of last year, the projected number of American veterans was at 19,998,799,  9.4 percent of that projection are women. The population is expected to grow at an average rate of 18,000 new female vets each year.

March is Gender Equality Month, so let’s see just how equal women veterans are today.


Women veterans are younger than male vets. The median age for women veterans is 50 and for men that number jumps to 65.  Women vets are also more educated than their male colleagues too, with 11.7 percent of women vets working on higher education, in comparison, only 3.9 percent of men are looking to improve education.    


The rate of service connected disabilities is just about 3 percent higher for women. Post-Traumatic Stress (PTS) accounts for about 12 percent of women veterans’ service connected medical issues. Women who use VA’s healthcare system are also more likely to have no health insurance, no income and are more likely to live in poverty than male veterans.   

In comparison, women vets who don’t use the VA’s system are less likely to be uninsured or live below the poverty line. These women are likely to work in management or professional occupations. You will find fewer women vets working in sales or service industries, but you will find more working in local, state or federal government jobs than civilian women.


Making money as a veteran falls along the same lines as in the civilian world. Men make more money than women. Women vets, on average, make $56,020 per year where men vets earn $59,998 annually. Even though women vets make about $10k more than civilian women earn, more than 11 percent need to use food stamps. 50.5 percent of women vets are more likely to hold down a full time job than men.  And just about 38 percent aren’t in the labor force in any capacity. 


For race, a higher percent of women veterans are more racially and ethnically diverse. The majority of all veterans fall under the white, non-Hispanic category. More than a quarter of all women vets identify as nonwhite non-Hispanic. African American women are overrepresented when compared to African American men in the military. 


When compared to civilians, women veterans are more likely to have never married. The divorce rate for veteran women is higher, with 23.4 percent divorced when compared to the civilian number of 12.6 percent. 

By the numbers

While in the military, women are more likely to serve since Sept. 11, 2001. For men, you’ll have to go all the way back to Vietnam and the draft to get the same numbers.  Once out, the District of Columbia, Virginia and Alaska tend to draw more women, per capita, than other states.  For just pure numbers, more women vets call Texas, California and Florida home.