Permanent and reserve populations over time
The total size of the permanent and reserve populations were relatively constant year to year.
The permanent population remained relatively constant at around 52,300 from 2002 to 2006, increased to 59,400 in 2010, and then remained relatively constant to 2019 where it was 59,000.
The reserve population also increased from around 36,400 in 2002 to 44,200 in 2008 where it remained until 2015 before dropping to 36,800 in 2016. This increase of separations by reserve members in 2016 could potentially be due to the transition to the Total Workforce Model (now known as Total Workforce System) at this time (Department of Defence, 2017). In 2019, there were around 38,700 members in the reserve.
Data for the permanent and reserve populations are not available before 2002 due to a change in Department of Defence member management systems at that time.
Figure 2: Permanent and reserve members, 2002–2019(a)
(a) Data for the permanent and reserve populations were not available before 2002 due to a change in Department of Defence member management systems.
Source: Defence population snapshots, 2002–2019.
Department of Defence 2017. Defence annual report 2016-17. Canberra: Department of Defence.