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American Veterans By the Numbers

Find out how many veterans live in the United States, where they served, their race, ethnicity, and more.

Source: U.S. Census Bureau
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Veterans

21.2 million

Number of military veterans in the United States in 2012.

1.6 million

Number of female veterans in the United States in 2012.

11.3%

Percent of black veterans in 2012. Additionally, 5.7 percent were Hispanic; 1.3 percent were Asian; 0.8 percent were American Indian or Alaska Native; 0.2 percent were Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander; and 79.6 percent were non-Hispanic white. (The numbers for blacks, Asians, American Indians and Alaska Natives, Native Hawaiians and Other Pacific Islanders, and non-Hispanic whites cover only those reporting a single race.)

9.6 million

Number of veterans 65 and older in 2012. At the other end of the age spectrum, 1.8 million were younger than 35.

When They Served

7.4 million

Number of Vietnam-era veterans in 2012. Moreover, there were 5.4 million who served during the Gulf Wars (representing service from August 1990 to present); 1.6 million who served in World War II (1941-1945); 2.3 million who served in the Korean War (1950-1953); and 5.3 million who served in peacetime only.

54,117

Number of living veterans in 2012 who served during the Vietnam era and both Gulf War eras and no other period. Other living veterans in 2012 who served during three wars:

  • The number who served during World War II, the Korean War and the Vietnam era, 50,004, was not statistically different than the number who served during the Vietnam era and both Gulf War eras.

Living veterans in 2012 who served during two wars and no other period:

  • 933,315 served during both Gulf War eras.
  • 307,376 served during both Gulf War (August 1990 to August 2001) and Vietnam era.
  • 209,183 served during both the Korean War and the Vietnam era.
  • 113,269 served during both World War II and the Korean War.

Where They Live

3

Number of states with 1 million or more veterans in 2012. These states were California (1.9 million), Texas (1.6 million) and Florida (1.6 million).

13.6%

Percent of people 18 years and older in Alaska who were veterans in 2012; this is the highest percentage of veterans of any state. Montana followed with 12.7 percent.
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Education

26.7%

Percent of veterans 25 and older with at least a bachelor's degree in 2012. In comparison, 29.1 percent of the total population had a bachelor's degree or higher.

29.2%

Percent of veterans 25 and older with a high school diploma in 2012, compared with the 28.0 percent of the population as a whole.

Income

$36,264

Annual median income of veterans in 2012, compared with $26,278 for the population as a whole.

On the Job

8.7 million

Number of veterans 18 to 64 in the labor force in 2012.

Service Connected Disabilities

3.6 million

Number of veterans with a service-connected disability rating in 2012. Of this number, 881,981 had a rating of 70 percent or higher. A "service-connected" disability is one that was a result of a disease or injury incurred or aggravated during active military service. Severity of one's disability is scaled from 0 to 100 percent, and eligibility for compensation depends on one's rating.

Voting

14.7 million

Number of veterans who voted in the 2012 presidential election. Seventy percent of veterans cast a ballot in the presidential election.

12.4 million

Number of veterans who voted in the 2010 congressional election. Fifty-seven percent of veterans voted in the 2010 congressional election.

Information Please® Database, © 2007 Pearson Education, Inc. All rights reserved.

Did you know?
The worst fire in American history took place in Peshtigo, Wisconsin, in 1871.

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