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Study: Pre- and post-release income of Regular Force veterans: Life after service, 2019

Released: 2021-06-09

Following their release from the Canadian Armed Forces, the vast majority of Regular Force veterans released from 1998 to 2017 relied on employment income as their main source of income. Total income among these veterans was, on average, $70,720 during the year before their release from the Forces and $68,370 in the first year following release. Their total income declined initially after release, but reached pre-release levels within three years post-release, and continued to increase thereafter. Those aged 60 to 64 (-19%), women (-19%), and those medically released (-16%) experienced the largest declines in income.

The income of veterans and their employment prospects once they have been released from the Forces have long been a national policy issue. The report "Pre- and Post-Release Income of Regular Force Veterans: Life After Service Studies 2019" takes a closer look at Regular Force veterans released from 1998 to 2017 and compares their economic situation after release from the military as opposed to when they were in the military. The paper includes information on employment, including earnings, low-income status, industry and employer continuity, and family characteristics, including the number of children and partnership status.

  Note to readers

This research is part of the ongoing collaboration between the three federal partners, which aims to produce statistics that support policy-makers in their study of areas of concern regarding veterans.

The paper is based on administrative data from the Department of National Defence and Veterans Affairs Canada, which Statistics Canada combined with income information from tax data (T1 Family File). The data include all veterans released from 1998 to 2017 and income information from 1997 to 2017. The project proposal (no. 020-2017) to conduct a linkage of administrative files and tax data for this study was reviewed and approved by Statistics Canada management. A summary of the approved microdata linkage is posted on Statistics Canada's website.

Statistics Canada takes the confidentiality and privacy of Canadians very seriously. All information provided is kept confidential and used only for statistical purposes. To learn more on the safeguards put in place regarding the data obtain from Canadians, please consult Statistics Canada's Trust Centre.

All amounts are reported in 2017 constant dollars.


The report "Pre- and Post-Release Income of Regular Force Veterans: Life After Service Studies 2019" is available on the Government of Canada Publications website. The full report is available in English only; however, an executive summary in both official languages is included at the beginning of the report.

Contact information

For more information, or to enquire about the concepts, methods or data quality of this release, contact us (toll-free 1-800-263-1136; 514-283-8300; or Media Relations (613-951-4636;

For more information about policy analysis related to the report's content, contact the Research Directorate of Veterans Affairs Canada ( For media enquiries, contact Media Relations (1-613-992-7468,, Veterans Affairs Canada.

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