MFRI Releases Fourth Report on State of Military and Veteran Families in the United States 

The Military Family Research Institute (MFRI) at Purdue University today released its 2023 Measuring Our Communities Report, which provides data and insights on the well-being of military-connected families across the United States using data from over 30 governmental and nongovernmental organizations. 

Key findings from the report include: 

  • While the number of veterans experiencing homelessness across the country has decreased by 45% over the last decade, the percentage of homeless veterans who are unsheltered rose. 
  • Food insecurity is a challenge for both military and veteran families. Nearly 1.1 million veteran households are using government benefits such as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), and one in four active-duty spouses nationwide report experiencing low or very low food security. 
  • Military-connected families are a big part of our nation’s communities, but it is unclear how much support exists to promote community connectedness for these families. Accessing community resources is a top barrier for military-connected families in rural communities. 
  • The suicide rate for veterans is at the lowest point since 2006 but remains much higher than the national rate for all populations. 

“This report provides valuable data and insights that can help communities better support military-connected families,” said Shelley MacDermid Wadsworth, MFRI director and Distinguished Professor in the Department of Human Development and Family Science in Purdue’s College of Health and Human Sciences “We urge communities to use this information to develop and implement programs and services that meet the unique needs of the military and veteran families in their area.” 

A launch event was held to highlight key trends and findings in the report and featured speakers from MFRI, the Indiana Department of Veterans Affairs, the National Military Family Association and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). A full recording of the event can be found on MFRI’s YouTube channel. 

The entire 2023 Measuring Our Communities Report is available for download, as well. 

About Measuring Communities 

Measuring Communities is a free, online data tool that allows professionals to learn about the current needs of military and veteran families, as well as how military-connected communities are changing over time. Data from more than 30 government and non-profit sources across the country are combined in the site to provide users with robust metrics all the way down to the county level to assist them with important policy, programming and funding decisions. 

For more details about how to access the online data portal, which is free and open to the public, contact Katie Walter, MFRI community outreach specialist, at