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Consistent with past analysis, those who have served continue to self-report higher rates of excellent or very good health compared with their civilian counterparts.

Self-reported health status is a measure of how individuals perceive their health and is an indicator of population health. It is a subjective measure of health-related quality of life that is not limited to health conditions or outcomes, but is influenced by life experiences, the health of others in one’s life, support received from family and friends and other factors.
Since the baseline reporting period (2011-2012), those who have served have continued to report high health status at a higher prevalence than civilians. This year’s report finds 55.5% of those who have served indicated their health is very good or excellent, compared with 53.0% of those who have not served (2019-2020). However, the gap is narrowing as the rate of high health status among the civilian population increased 4% since 2011-2012, while it remained essentially unchanged among those who have served. It will be important to consider whether these trends continue in the future and the implications for those who have served, particularly considering the health challenges they face.
Notable differences exist in high health status among subpopulation groups. The prevalence of those reporting excellent or very good health is higher among Hispanic adults who have served (52.4%) than their non-serving counterparts (39.2%), American Indian/Alaska Native adults who have served (48.0%) than those who have not (40.7%) and those with less than a high school education who have served (36.1%) than those who have not served (29.8%).
In addition, among those who have served, those with a college degree are 1.8 times more likely to report being in very good or excellent health than those with less than a high school education (65.0% vs. 36.1%, respectively). Similarly, those who earn $75,000 or more annually are 1.8 times more likely to report high health status than those earning less than $25,000 (65.7% vs. 36.9%).

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