Data: U.S. Armed Forces seeing “sharp decline” in white male recruits
01/17/2024 // Kevin Hughes // Views

The United States Armed Forces is seeing a massive decline in white recruits signing up for the Army.

According to internal data reviewed by, the Army's recruiting of white soldiers has dropped significantly in the last half-decade alone.

In 2018, 56.4 percent of new recruits – 44,042 people – were categorized as white. This number has fallen each year to a low of 25,070 in 2023, or 44 percent, with a six percent dip from 2022 to 2023 alone. No other demographic group has seen such a massive decline.

During this same five-year period, the number of Black recruits the Army was receiving rose from 20 to 24 percent, and Hispanic recruits increased from 17 percent to 24 percent.

This shift in demographics comes as the Army continues to fall short of its recruitment goals, with planners noting that the changing racial makeup of the Army is generally insignificant to war planners. In 2023, the Army missed its target of 65,000 new recruits by about 10,000. (Related: TOO FAT TO FIGHT: 10,000 U.S. Army soldiers are now too obese to serve… and a quarter of young men can’t even qualify for recruitment.)

Experts suggest a confluence of issues affecting Army recruitment

Experts interviewed by note that they have not seen a single cause to the recruiting problem. But they have suggested a confluence of issues affecting Army recruitment, including partisan scrutiny of the service, a growing obesity epidemic and an underfunded public education system.

The Army has so far refused to comment on the situation, worried about "increasing partisan attacks" against the military for its effort to meet recruitment numbers by expanding recruitment efforts to more diverse communities.

Furthermore, the Army has regional recruiting data that could show which specific parts of the country are struggling to get young white men and women to sign up for the Army. The service has so far refused to share this data.

One explanation proposed by reporter Steve Beynon points to the gender divide among members of the Armed Forces. This divide for incoming soldiers remains stable, with males making up 83 percent of recruits in 2018 versus 82 percent in 2023.

The disproportionate number of men in the Army means that even small disruptions to men seeking work in the U.S. Armed Forces can have a major impact on recruitment. Civilian experts like Beynon note that this exact dynamic is at play, as men have been disappearing from national labor market statistics.

"Men have been in trouble in the workforce for two generations. The greatest risk of being a labor dropout is being a native-born [White], low-education, unmarried guy," said Nicholas Eberstadt, an economist and expert on demographics at the American Enterprise Institute. "Like with any other big historic change, it's kind of hard to attribute to a single magic bullet."

An Army spokesman who spoke with agreed with this view, suggesting that recruiting efforts are starting to broadly mimic the trends in the private sector. One big part of this trend is the disappearance of men in their prime working ages of 25 to 54 from the labor market.

"What we're seeing is a reflection of society; what we know less of is what is driving all of these things," said the spokesman. "There is no widely accepted cause."

Follow for more news about the United States military.

Watch the video below about the growing U.S. military recruitment crisis.

This video is from the The Prisoner channel on

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