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Te Arataki: Social Wellbeing Agency analysis of our veteran population

Te Arataki: Social Wellbeing Agency analysis of our veteran population

The Social Wellbeing Agency carried out an analysis of the veteran population using data from the Statistics New Zealand Integrated Data Infrastructure.

Their work has come about from their involvement with Te Arataki, the Veteran, Family and Whānau Mental Health and Wellbeing Strategy. Te Arataki is a strategy developed and promoted by Veterans’ Affairs to engage other Government agencies about issues facing New Zealand veterans.

“Understanding more about the veteran population is a priority area for Te Arataki,” says Alex Brunt, Deputy Head of Veterans’ Affairs.

The Social Wellbeing Agency’s report, Understanding our veteran population, provides rich data about the demographics of the veteran population, particularly younger veterans who completed their service after 1999.

For the Social Wellbeing Agency, it has been a great project.

“It has been exciting to be part of the first demographic analysis of the veteran population in New Zealand,” says Aphra Green, Deputy Chief Executive, Policy, Data and Insights, at the Social Wellbeing Agency. “We hope this analysis can contribute to the wellbeing of veterans in our society.”

“This data will be useful in understanding the characteristics of the veteran population and particularly when they transition from military services to civilian life.”

The analysis included all those who have completed a period of military service, but who no longer serve. It used data from employment, occupation, pension and other administrative data sources to identify veterans who were alive and in New Zealand in 2021.

The Stats NZ Integrated Data Infrastructure is a de-identified data set that enables research across different sectors, and can provide insights into our society and economy.

The report, Building an evidence base for understanding veteran outcomes, has been published on the Social Wellbeing Agency’s website.

Key findings from the report

  • There are approximately 44,000 veterans in the New Zealand population, as at 2021.
  • Of these, 72% were male and 28% were female.
  • Most (64%) are aged between 30 and 64 years.
  • Most (84%) veterans identified as New Zealand European, 20% identified as Māori, 4% as Pasifika and 3% Asian.
  • Of these, 74% served in the defence forces for 5 years or less.
  • Compared to the general population, veterans experience fewer impairments before age 30 but more from age 65.
  • Veterans enter different industries of employment compared to the general population. Compared to the general population, more veterans worked in public order, safety and regulatory services, logistics and transport, manufacturing and air transport.

16 May 2024