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Summary Appendix A Appendix B Appendix C Appendix D Appendix E
Population Representation in the Military Services FY07

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EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

FY 2007 marks the fifth year of war. The all-volunteer force has responded to these challenges remarkably well, with services meeting their respective endstrength goals while maintaining the level of readiness required for effective engagements.

 

This is the 34th annual Department of Defense (DoD) report on social representation in the U.S. military services and the Coast Guard. The FY 2007 report and technical appendices provide current data on the demographic, educational, and aptitude characteristics of applicants, new recruits, enlisted personnel, and officers of the active and reserve components, as well as time-series information on selected variables. Except where otherwise noted, data are provided by the Defense Manpower Data Center (DMDC). Due to slight differences in definitions among the services, data provided may not match statistics reported by the Directorate for Information Operations and Reports, other DoD agencies, or the individual military services.

Endstrength and Accessions

The FY 2007 endstrength of DoD active components included over 1.14 million enlisted personnel, over 17,000 warrant officers and over 204,000 commissioned officers, for a total active-duty endstrength of just under 1.4 million. The Selected Reserve (consisting of the Army National Guard, Army Reserve, Naval Reserve, Marine Corps Reserve, Air National Guard, and Air Force Reserve) totaled over 705,000 enlisted personnel and roughly 113,000 officers.

In FY 2007, approximately 160,000 non-prior service (NPS) recruits were enlisted and almost 20,000 prior service (PS) recruits were returned to the ranks. About 17,700 newly commissioned officers reported for active duty. Lastly, almost 64,500 recruits without prior military experience, over 81,000 enlisted personnel with prior military experience, and 13,000 commissioned officers entered the Selected Reserve during FY 2007.

The FY 2007 endstrength of the Coast Guard included approximately 32,600 enlisted personnel, 1,600 warrant officers and 6,500 commissioned officers. The Coast Guard Selected Reserves consisted of roughly 6,400 enlisted personnel, 170 warrant officers and 1,100 commissioned officers.

Highlights

This brief highlights information found in appendices A through E. Summary information on the following groups is presented in separate sections:

Applicants

Enlisted Force

Commissioned Officer Corps

Enlisted Selected Reserve Force

Enlisted Accessions

Commissioned Officer Accessions

Warrant Officer Corps

Historical Trends

 

The population characteristics presented range from gender, race, and ethnicity to educational credentials, pay grade, and marital status.

 

Applicants


In FY 2007, over 305,000 individuals began the formal process of applying for enlistment in the active component of the military by either taking the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB) or by taking a standard military physical. The Army had the largest number of applicants, accounting for almost 42 percent of the 297,000 DoD applications opened.

Almost 20 percent of applicants for enlistment were women. The Air Force had the largest proportion of female applicants (29 percent), followed by the Navy (24 percent).


Applicants for enlistment tended be young: in FY 2007, 86 percent of all applicants were under 25 years of age. The Marine Corps had the youngest applicant pool: 70 percent of individuals who began the USMC application process were under the age of 20, and 94 percent were under 25. The Army had the largest proportion of older applicants: almost 23 percent of individuals starting the Army enlistment process were 25 years of age or older.

Women who applied to enlist in one of the DoD active components were younger on average than the men who applied. In FY 2007, 24 percent of applicants under the age of 18 were female. The proportion of female applicants generally declined for successive cohorts until, at age 24, only 17 percent of applicants were female. (The proportion of female applicants increased slightly for the group of individuals 25 years of age and older, but not enough to change the net effect.)


The Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB) consists of a series of tests used both to determine whether an individual qualifies for military service and to provide an indication of the person’s aptitude for specific job assignments. ASVAB scores on word knowledge, paragraph comprehension, arithmetic reasoning, and mathematics knowledge are used to compute the Armed Forces Qualifying Test (AFQT) score, one of the primary screens for applicant eligibility. The chart above compares AFQT scores received by FY 2007 applicants with scores from a control group of 18-23 year-old civilians who were tested in 1997. The AFQT score categories displayed on the chart correspond to the following percentile ranges

Category I

93rd-99th percentile

Category II

65th-92nd percentile

Category IIIa

50th-64th percentile

Category IIIb

31st-49th percentile

Category IV

10th-30th percentile

Category V

Below 10th percentile

Unknown/other

(Includes Category V for civilians)

In FY 2007, applicants generally scored at least as well as the civilian control group. For example, 54 percent of applicants scored in one of the top three categories (Category I, II and IIIa), while only 51 percent of civilians in the 1997 control group did so.

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Enlisted Accessions


In FY 2007, over 133,600 men and almost 26,000 women without prior military experience enlisted in one of the four DoD active components. Roughly 3,100 men and 570 women without prior military experience joined the Coast Guard. These enlistments represent over 55 percent of male applicants and 43 percent of female applicants for FY 2007.


For all armed services, more than half of individuals who enlisted during FY 2007 were under the age of 20. As with the applicant percentages, the Marine Corps had the largest share of young recruits: 68 percent of those who joined the Corps were under 20 years of age. The Army had the largest share of older recruits: 16 percent of Army enlistees in FY 2007 were 25 years of age or older.

Women who chose to enlist in the Army were essentially just as likely as men to be less than 20 years of age: 46 percent of female Army recruits fell into this age group, while 45 percent of male recruits did so. However, in the other three services, the proportion of female recruits under the age of 20 was roughly 4 percentage points higher than the proportion of male recruits in this age group.


In addition to AFQT scores, educational credentials represent an important component of applicant quality as measured by the DoD. Educational credentials are used to group individuals into one of three tiers:

Tier 1:

High school diploma graduate or some college credit

Tier 2:

Alternate credentials, such as the General Educational Certificate (GED)

Tier 3:

Non-high school graduate

The chart above shows the percentage of enlistees falling into each of these three tiers in FY 2007; Tier 1 and Tier 2 are combined in the civilian comparison group and the Tier 3 proportion is illustrated separately.

In FY 2007, individuals who chose to enlist were more likely than the general civilian population to have a high school diploma or its equivalent: 98 percent of enlistees are classified as either Tier 1 or Tier 2, whereas only 81 percent of 18- to 24-year-old civilians fell into this category.

Women who chose to enlist were more likely than their male peers to have a high school diploma: 90.5 percent of female enlistees were characterized as Tier 1, whereas only 84.6 percent of male enlistees fell into this category.

Note: DoD does not assign applicants to the same set of tiers. Many would-be recruits start the application process while still in school but do not actually enlist until after graduation.


Individuals who enlisted in the armed services during FY 2007 received higher AFQT scores on average than the 1997 civilian control group. For example, 67 percent of all enlistees scored in the 50th percentile or higher, while 51 percent of the civilian control group did so.

Women – both enlistees and civilian – received somewhat lower scores on the AFQT than their male peers. For example, 68 percent of male enlistees scored in one of the top three categories, whereas only 63 percent of female enlistees did so.


Enlistees who are at least high school diploma graduates and who score at or above the 50th percentile on the AFQT are considered to be “high quality” by the DoD. In FY 2007, 58 percent of all enlistees fell into this category.

For DoD as a whole, male and female enlistees had very similar probabilities of being considered “high quality”: 58.3 percent of all male enlistees and 57.4 percent of all female enlistees fell into this category. The stronger academic credentials of female enlistees as a group offset their somewhat lower AFQT scores.


On October 30, 1997, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) published “Standards for Maintaining, Collecting, and Presenting Federal Data on Race and Ethnicity.” These new standards motivated a sea change in the way DoD reported demographic information on members of the armed services.

Prior to FY03, data on race and ethnic characteristics were used jointly to define demographic groups for reporting purposes. The most common set of mutually exclusive categories was “non-Hispanic White”, “non-Hispanic Black”, “Hispanic”, and “Other”.

When information on race and ethnicity is collected now, individuals are asked to choose one or more of the following race categories:

American Indian or Alaskan Native (AIAN)

Asian

Black or African American

Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander (NHPI)

White

In a separate question they are also asked to indicate whether or not they identify themselves as Hispanic.

Since FY03, the Population Representation in the Military Services report has provided separate tables for the answers to these two questions. It is important to note that in some tables of this report, Hispanic individuals who identify themselves as “White” are grouped with non-Hispanic Whites in a number of tables that report information by racial identity. The same approach is also used to report data on other racial groupings, with the result that Hispanic individuals who identify themselves as Black (or African American) are reported together with non-Hispanic Blacks; non-Hispanic Asians are reported together with non-Hispanic Asians, etc.

The above chart summarizes the information on racial identities reported by new recruits during FY 2007. We see that White and non-White men as a group joined the military at the roughly the same rate: the relative proportions of White and non-White male accessions were similar to the racial mix found in the general civilian population. However, minority women joined the military at a higher rate than their share in the civilian population would suggest: non-White female accessions accounted for over 33 percent of all female accessions even though less than 23 percent of the female civilian population fell into this category.


As mentioned above, respondents are asked to self-identify as either Hispanic or non-Hispanic. The above chart summarizes the information on ethnicity reported by new recruits during FY 2007. We see that the Navy and the Marine Corps had the largest proportion of Hispanic recruits (17 and 16 percent respectively); the Army and the Air Force had the smallest (11 percent in each case). The average for DoD overall was just over 13 percent, compared with 18 percent for the comparison civilian population.

In each of the DoD active components, female enlisted recruits were slightly more likely than their male peers to self-identify as Hispanic: in FY 2007, 15 percent of female recruits and 13 percent of male recruits classified themselves as Hispanic. This gender-linked difference was strongest in the Marine Corps, where Hispanic women enlisted at a higher rate than their share of the general civilian population would suggest: almost 22 percent of female Marine Corps recruits identified themselves as Hispanic even though only 17 percent of women in the civilian comparison group did so.

 

 


The next several charts characterize FY 2007 enlistees by the characteristics of their respective home communities. To create these charts (and the tables found in appendix B), we combined information on the home of record reported by each enlistee with socio-economic data obtained from Claritas on communities within the U.S.

We see that for DoD as a whole, over half (57 percent) of enlistees with a U.S. home of record come from communities with a median annual household income of less than $50,000. The Army had the largest proportion (61 percent) of recruits in this category; the other three services all had roughly the same proportion (55-56 percent) of accessions in this group. Very few recruits come from communities with median incomes of less that $25,000.

 


A proprietary Claritas model classifies locations within the U.S. by both population density and proximity to the downtown core in the nearest metropolitan area. The result is a set of six categories:

         Urban: the downtowns of major cities and their surrounding neighborhoods

         Second city: less densely populated than urban areas, and serve as the population center for the surrounding community

         Suburban: may have a population density comparable to that found in a second city, but is dependant on a neighboring population center

         Town: smaller population center than a second city with a lower population density

         Town/rural: areas nearby towns

         Rural: the remainder of the country

We see that for DoD as a whole, roughly half of all recruits come from small towns and rural areas. The Air Force has the largest proportion of recruits in this group (52 percent); the Navy has the smallest proportion (46 percent).

 


In each of the DoD active components, the largest proportion of FY 2007 recruits came from the south. For DoD as a whole, 43 percent of enlistees listed a home of record located in the southern region as defined by the U.S. Census.

 

 


Each year, a significant number of individuals with prior military experience choose to return to full-time active duty. There were roughly 20,000 of these “prior service recruits” in FY 2007, accounting for 11 percent of accessions across all services. The vast majority of these individuals (85 percent) joined the Army, where they accounted for 22 percent of accessions. Prior service recruits also accounted for 5 percent of Marine Corps accessions and 8 percent of Coast Guard accessions.

It should be noted that the above classification (as either NPS or PS) is based on a provisional classification done at the time individual recruits actually “ship” to boot camp. In some years, a number of recruits are reclassified during basic training.

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Enlisted Force


In FY 2007, the Army had the largest total number of enlisted personnel (433,000), as well as the largest number of female enlisted personnel (58,117). However, the Air Force had the largest proportion of women in its enlisted force (20 percent); the Marine Corps had the smallest proportion of female enlisted personnel (6 percent).

 


The services have somewhat different age structures for their respective enlisted forces. The Marine Corps had the youngest enlisted force: 68 percent of its enlisted men and 71 percent of its enlisted women are under 25 years of age; the DoD average for this age group is 46 percent for men and 49 percent for women. Air Force enlisted personnel were somewhat older on average: the Air Force had the largest proportion of male enlisted personnel over 30 years of age (38 percent); women over 30 years of age made up roughly 29 percent of the enlisted force in both the Army and the Air Force.

The female enlisted population was generally younger than the enlisted male population across all DoD components: each of the age brackets for individuals under 40 was larger for the female population than for the male population. This finding was strongest in the Navy: 76 percent of enlisted women in the Navy were under age 30 whereas only 66 percent of enlisted men fell into this age group.

 


The reporting of race and ethnicity within the enlisted force for FY 2007 follows the same convention as current accessions. Enlisted personnel indicate their racial characteristics (Black, White, AIAN, etc.) separately from their ethnicity (Hispanic, not-Hispanic). The chart above illustrates the racial mix by gender for enlisted forces in FY 2007. (It is important to note that Hispanics and non-Hispanics are combined in each of the above racial groups.)

Individuals who identify themselves as a member of one or more racial minorities are more prevalent in the enlisted population than they are in the civilian labor force. Non-Whites account for 31 percent of enlisted personnel and 20 percent of the 18- to 44-year-old civilian labor force.

Female enlisted personnel are more likely than their male peers to identify themselves as a member of a racial minority: 46 percent of enlisted women consider themselves non-White, whereas only 29 percent of enlisted men do so. Although this gender-linked difference can be observed within each of the DoD components, it is the strongest within the Army. Most of these gender-linked differences in racial mix can be attributed to differences in the probability of self-identifying as Black: for DoD as a whole 31 percent of enlisted women identify themselves as Black whereas only 17 percent of enlisted men do so.

There are relatively fewer Hispanics in the military than in the general civilian population: 11 percent of enlisted personnel identified themselves as Hispanic whereas 18 percent of civilians between the ages of 18 and 44 did so.

Female enlisted personnel are slightly more likely than their male peers to identify themselves as Hispanic: for DoD as a whole, 12 percent of enlisted women and 11 percent of enlisted men identify themselves as Hispanic. This gender-linked difference is the strongest for the Navy and the Marine Corps. The reverse is true in the comparison civilian population, where 20 percent of men and only 15 percent of women identify themselves as Hispanic.


Although enlisted women who are 24 years of age or younger are somewhat more likely than their male peers to be married, enlisted women over the age of 24 are more likely than men to be single. The extent of this difference increases with age: while the proportion of married enlisted men continues to increase with age, the proportion of married enlisted women decreases after the age of 40.

As a result, after age 30 there are significant gender-linked differences in the relative proportions of married service members. Female enlisted personnel between the ages of 30 and 34 are almost twice as likely as their male peers to be single; enlisted women between the ages of 40 and 50 are roughly 3.5 times as likely to be single; and enlisted women over 50 are almost 4 times as likely to be single. This may reflect the fact that different recruiting and personnel policies were in effect for those individuals who enlisted 25 or more years ago.


Since the Marine Corps has relatively younger enlisted personnel, it follows that the Corps also has a higher proportion of personnel in the more junior ranks. For example, 45 percent of Marines hold the rank of E3 or below, whereas less than 28 percent of enlisted personnel in the other services fall into this category.

In every service, men are currently more likely than women to hold the highest enlisted ranks. For DoD as a whole, 12 percent of men and 8 percent of women hold the rank of E7 or above. This difference is smaller in the Army and the Marine Corps than in the Navy and the Air Force. This result is consistent with the fact that the female enlisted population is younger on average than the male enlisted population.

 

 


Each service classifies enlisted occupations using DoD occupational codes. At the most general level, there are ten one-digit categories as shown in the above chart. The following is a brief description of those job categories ranked by overall size.

The largest occupational group is electrical/mechanical equipment repair, covering individuals who are involved in the maintenance and repair of service-specific equipment. Jobs in this area include aviation safety specialist, aircraft mechanic, vehicle mechanic, nuclear weapons specialist, and electrician’s mate. (These jobs deal with more mechanical, less electronically sophisticated maintenance and repair issues than the tasks assigned to electronic equipment repairers.)

The next largest occupational group is infantry, gun crews, and seamanship, a category which also includes enlisted personnel serving on gun crews and those serving in some ship-based occupations. Specific specialties include infantryman, special forces, tank crewman, gunner’s mate, in-flight refueling, and quartermaster.

Functional support and administration encompasses positions related to the administrative processes of the services. Representative jobs in this area include personnel, recruiter, information management specialist, computer programmer, accounting specialist, traffic manager, and public affairs specialist.

Service and supply handlers include food service specialists, vehicle operators, military police, parachute riggers, and morale, welfare, and recreation specialists.

The communications and intelligence area includes personnel who operate electronic equipment, such as radios, and others specializing in communication or intelligence. For example, radioman, air traffic controller, linguist, and intelligence/counter-intelligence specialist all fall into this category.

Electronic equipment repair covers those jobs that require a knowledge of electronics sufficient to maintain and repair electronic equipment. Jobs included are electronics technician, radio repairer, communication and navigation systems specialist, air traffic control radar technician, missile systems maintenance, and computer technician.

Medical and dental specialists are health care workers. Occupations within this category include medical service specialist, aeromedical specialist, pharmacy specialist, and dental laboratory specialist.

Non-occupational personnel are those who have not completed training for an occupation or who are unable to serve in the position for which they have been trained. Patients, prisoners, students, and recruits are included in this category.

Craftsman specialty includes the skilled blue collar trades. Examples of these positions include metal worker, crane operator, plumber, and electrician.

The other allied specialties includes occupations not captured by the other codes. Examples of these jobs are photojournalist, cartographer, weather specialist, musician, and disaster preparedness specialist.

 


Although electrical/mechanical equipment repair is the largest occupational grouping within DoD as a whole, the prevalence of this job category differs by service. The Navy and the Air Force have the largest proportion of individuals in this category (30 percent and 24 percent, respectively); the Army and the Marines both have somewhat smaller proportions of individuals in this occupation (14 percent and 16 percent, respectively). Lastly, since Navy medical personnel provide health care services to the Marine Corps, there are no enlisted Marines assigned to the medical job category.

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Commissioned Officer Accessions


In FY 2007, over 17,700 officers received commissions: 43 percent joined the Army, 22 percent joined the Navy, 11 percent joined the Marine Corps, and the remaining 24 percent entered the Air Force.

For DoD as a whole, 20 percent of new officers were women. The Army had the largest absolute number of female officer accessions (almost 1,500); the Air Force had the largest percentage of female officer accessions (almost 25 percent).

 


Among newly commissioned officers, the proportion of non-Whites is slightly higher than that found in the civilian population: for DoD as a whole, 24 percent of officer accessions identified themselves as other than White, whereas 22 percent of civilian college graduates did so.

 


Among newly commissioned officers in FY 2007, the proportion of Hispanics is slightly lower than in the civilian population of college graduates. For DoD as a whole, roughly 5 percent of accessions identified themselves as Hispanic, whereas 8 percent of civilian college graduates did so.

The Marine Corps had the largest proportion of Hispanic newly commissioned officers (over 6 percent); the Air Force had the smallest proportion (2 percent).

 

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Commissioned Officer Corps


The FY 2007 endstrength of the active component included 172,000 male and 32,000 female commissioned officers. The Air Force had the largest absolute number (11,835) and the largest proportion (18 percent) of female officers; the Marine Corps had the smallest number (1,029) and proportion (6 percent) of women in its commissioned ranks.

 


Across DoD, female officers tended to be younger than male officers: 52 percent of men and 59 percent of women holding commissions were under the age of 35 in FY 2007. This age difference was largest for the Marine Corps, where 78 percent of female officers and 60 percent of male officers were younger than 35.


In FY 2007, young female officers were somewhat more likely than their male peers to be married: 22 percent of female officers under the age of 25 were married, as were 18 percent of male officers in this age group. However, for all age groups over the age of 24, women officers were less likely than men to be married. Overall, 73 percent of men and 53 percent of women holding commissions were married. As with enlisted personnel, this gender-linked difference may reflect the fact that recruiting and personnel policies have evolved over time; policies now in effect differ from those that applied to individuals who were commissioned 25 or more years ago.

 

 


For DoD overall in FY 2007, the proportion of officers who identify themselves as non-White (20 percent) is essentially the same as the proportion of civilian college graduates who do so. The Army had both the largest number (17,400) and the largest proportion (24.5 percent) of officers who identify themselves as non-White.

In each of the services, female officers are more likely to be non-White than male officers: for DoD overall, 32 percent of female officers and 18 percent of male officers identified themselves as non-White. This effect gender-linked difference was strongest in the Army, where 22 percent of male officers and 39 percent of female officers identify themselves as non-White.

 


The proportion of Hispanic officers is somewhat smaller than the proportion of Hispanics in the civilian population (where the civilian reference population consists of college graduates between the ages of 21 and 49). For DoD overall, 5 percent of officers identify themselves as Hispanic, whereas 7 percent of civilian college graduates do so. The Army had the largest number of Hispanic officers (just under 3,800), while the Marine Corps had the largest percentage of Hispanic officers (6.3 percent).

Women officers in the Marine Corps were more likely to identify themselves as Hispanic than were civilian female college graduates: 9.1 percent of female officers in the Marine Corps identified themselves as Hispanic, whereas 6.7 percent of civilian female college graduates did so.

 


Although the rank structures of the Army, Navy and Air Force are quite similar, the Marine Corps has a higher proportion of junior officers: in FY 2007, 33 percent of Marine Corps officers held the rank of O1 or O2; the average proportion of individuals at these ranks in the other services was 23 percent.

 

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Warrant Officer Corps


The warrant officer corps consisted of roughly 16,000 men and 1,300 women at the end of FY 2007. These individuals accounted for 8 percent of all officers in the services. The Army had the largest complement of warrant officers (roughly 14,000 individuals); the Air Force had none.

 

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Enlisted Selected Reserve Force

 

At the end of FY 2007, the enlisted selected reserve force (SELRES) consisted of 588,000 men and 125,000 women, of whom 44 percent were in either the Army or the Air National Guard. (It should be noted that this tabulation does not include “non-drilling” reserve components such as the Individual Ready Reserve, Inactive National Guard, Standby Reserves, and Retired Reserves.)

Although the Army National Guard had the largest absolute number of women (just over 44,500) within the Selected Reserves, the Air Force and Army Reserves had the highest proportion of women (24 and 23 percent, respectively).

It should be noted that the FY 2007 SELRES “reserve gains” reported in Appendix C include recruiting, active-to-reserve transitions, Individual Ready Reserve(IRR)-to-unit transfers and reenlistments within the SELRES itself. Reserve accessions are a subset of reserve gains, so the reserve gain counts reported in Appendix C will not always match the reserve accession counts provided by the individual services.

 


Marine Corps enlisted reservists are significantly younger on average than reservists in other branches of the military. At the end of FY 2007, 86 percent of Marine Corps reservists were under the age of 30, whereas only 51 percent of all other reservists fell into this category.

 

 

 


Overall, the Reserve Corps has a larger proportion of individuals who identify themselves as non-White than the National Guard: in FY 2007, 32 percent of all members of the Reserve Corps identified themselves as non-White, whereas 20 percent of the National Guard did so.

In SELRES as a whole, women were more likely than their male peers to belong to a racial minority: in FY 2007, 22 percent of male reservists and 37 percent of female reservists identified themselves as non-White. This effect was stronger in the Reserve Corps than in the National Guard.


 

The National Guard and Reserves had somewhat different distributions of occupations. For example, a relatively larger proportion of National Guard enlisted personnel were assigned to infantry: 20 percent of National Guard enlisted personnel were assigned to this occupation whereas only 11 percent of the Reserve Corps were. A relatively larger proportion of Reserve enlisted personnel were assigned to medical and craftsman occupations.

There were gender-linked differences in occupational distributions. For SELRES as a whole, a significantly larger proportion of women were assigned to the administration and medical occupational areas; a smaller proportion of women were assigned to infantry and electrical job classifications.

 


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Historical Trends


Although accessions are significantly lower than they were during the 1980s, they have remained relatively stable since the early 1990s.

It should be noted that the end of the fiscal year was moved from June 30 to September 30 in 1977. As a result, the data reported for FY 1977 covers five quarters of observations.

 


It should be noted that the end of the fiscal year was moved from June 30 to September 30 in 1977. As a result, the data reported for FY 1977 covers five quarters of observations.

 


It should be noted that the end of the fiscal year was moved from June 30 to September 30 in 1977. As a result, the data reported for FY 1977 covers five quarters of observations.

 


It should be noted that the end of the fiscal year was moved from June 30 to September 30 in 1977. As a result, the data reported for FY 1977 covers five quarters of observations.

 

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