Michigan Women Veterans

Nationwide, there are 2 million women veterans, making up nearly 10 percent of the total veteran population. While the number of veterans overall is decreasing, driven by the decline in male veterans, the number of women veterans is steadily increasing.

In Michigan, women veterans will continue making up a bigger part of the overall veteran population. While women veterans made up just 7 percent of the state’s veteran population in 2015 (compared with 93 percent male veterans), that ratio will more than double by 2045 when women veterans will account for 16 percent of the veteran population (compared with 84 percent male veterans).

Yet women veterans are facing numerous challenges, according to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). Among them:

  • 1 in 4 women veterans responded “yes” when screened for military sexual trauma.
  • More than 40 percent of women veterans in the VA system have been diagnosed with a mental health condition.
  • A higher percentage of women veterans have a service-connected disability and live in poverty than male veterans.
  • Women veterans are two to four times more likely to become homeless than non-women veterans.
  • The suicide rate of women veterans is 1.8 times higher than that of non- veteran women.

Despite these challenges, women veterans have become four-star generals, commanded ships, earned medals of honor and run major components of the VA. As women become a bigger part of the veteran population, advocates say there must be continued efforts to remember, recognize and support their service.