New figures from the Office of National Statistics reveal the contribution veterans make to the economy and society, challenging many misconceptions.

Research published last week found that while people on the whole were positive about veterans, some 54% of the general public estimated that service leavers had some kind of physical, emotional or mental health problem as a result of their time in the military

The report highlighted the pervasive nature of myths surrounding public perception of veterans, pointing towards research which debunks a number of these:

  • The employment rate for veterans six months after leaving the military is higher than in the UK workforce as a whole
  • The vast majority of former service personnel go on to lead normal, healthy, productive lives
  • Suicide is less common among the military population than the general public
  • Veterans are less likely to go to prison, not more.

A number of other statistics released today by the Office of National Statistics also outline how prevalent myths around the employment, education and health of veterans are untrue. The statistics found that:

  • There were no differences between vets and non-vets self-reported general health and health conditions. 35% of veterans aged between 16-64 reported their general health as very good, compared to 36% of non-veterans. 18% of over 65 veterans also reported very good general health, compared to 19% of non-veterans.
  • Working age vets were as likely to have a qualification as non-vets, (92% and 89% respectively) and more likely to have gained qualifications through work (63%) and leisure (17%) than non-veterans (45% and 10% respectively). This is likely a result of the training opportunities offered by the MoD to support service personnel in their military career and during transition out of the services.
  • Vets were as likely to have bought their own home (outright or with a mortgage) (75%) as non-vets (77%). The MoD’s Armed Forces Help to Buy scheme recently revealed that over 11,000 service personnel had been assisted in buying or renovating their own home through the scheme.


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Geoffrey Roach
Geoffrey Roach
3 years ago

A number of items above are quoted as being “debunked” If that is the case what are the real figures?

Hugh McManners
3 years ago

Having been selected and highly trained, comparisons between military veterans and civilians are meaningless. These various statistics for veterans ought to be very much better than those for civilians, especially regarding suicide and prison population (for which no figures…).