Study shows USAF makeup mostly white, male
January 27, 2004
If you’re a 29-year-old white, male noncommissioned officer, married, and possess a high school diploma with some college education, the Air Force has a word for you: average.
The Air Force Personnel Center has issued a quarterly demographics report on the service’s active-duty and civilian forces, with factors such as age, gender, race and education assigned percentages.
But while more than 75 percent of the active-duty personnel reported themselves to be white and more than 80 percent of them male, diversity does exist.
According to the report, 19.6 percent of the force is female. That equates to 73,074 of the 372,305 airmen on the active-duty rosters. Slightly less (18.2 percent) of the officer corps is female. There are currently 519 female pilots (3.8 percent).
Blacks make up 15.6 percent of the force. Hispanics, listed under ethnicity instead of race, account for 6.8 percent of the force. Asians are next at 1.6 percent.
As far as age goes, the average in the officer force is 35. The enlisted average age is 29. A greater percentage of enlisted personnel (48.5 percent) are under 26 than officers (13.1 percent).
With education, just about everyone in the force has something in common: a high school diploma. According to the statistics, 99.9 percent of the force achieved that. About 73 percent of the enlisted force has taken at least some college courses. Of the officers, 49.5 percent have advanced college or professional honors beyond the standard college degree.
The numbers across the board are roughly the same for U.S. Air Forces in Europe, although just about all of the averages vary slightly.
Maj. Rick Harrington, chief of force management for the USAFE director of personnel, said those differences may come from a lag in the reporting system. He said individual bases report the numbers up the chain periodically.
But age, education, marital status and ethnicity in Europe are just about the same as they are elsewhere.
Harrington said that’s not surprising, because the population of “USAFE is what the Air Force gives us.”
The largest difference is a higher percentage of enlisted personnel in Europe than in the total force.
Officers make up almost 20 percent of the total force. But bases in Europe have 86 percent enlisted personnel.
In the civilian force across the Air Force, the average age is 46, with a government service of 16 years.
The number of females (36 percent) is almost twice the active-duty level.
The number of blacks is lower (11.2 percent) and Hispanics higher (7.2 percent).
Local nationals in countries where the Air Force operates make up almost 59 percent of the total civilian work force.