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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

18.8 million

The number of military veterans in the United States in 2015.

1.6 million

The number of female veterans in the United States in 2015.

11.6%

The percentage of veterans in 2015 who were black. Additionally, 78.3 percent were non-Hispanic white, 1.5 percent were Asian, 0.7 percent were American Indian or Alaska Native, 0.2 percent were Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander, and 1.3 percent were Some Other Race. (The numbers for blacks, non-Hispanic whites, Asians, American Indians and Alaska Natives, Native Hawaiians and Other Pacific Islanders, and Some Other Race cover only those reporting a single race.)

6.4%

The percentage of veterans in 2015 who were Hispanic.

9.3 million

The number of veterans age 65 and older in 2015. At the other end of the age spectrum, 1.6 million were younger than age 35.

When They Served

6.8 million

The number of Vietnam Era veterans in 2015. Moreover, there were 5.6 million who served during the Gulf War (representing service from August 1990 to present); 930,000 who served in World War II; 1.8 million who served in the Korean War; and 4.3 million who served in peacetime only.

The number of living veterans in 2015 who served during three wartime periods:

  • 61,997 served during the Vietnam Era and both periods of the Gulf War (August 1990 to August 2001 and September 2001 or later).
  • 29,331 served during World War II, the Korean War and the Vietnam Era.

The number of living veterans in 2015 who served during two wartime periods:

  • 1,085,142 served during both periods of the Gulf War (August 1990 to August 2001 and September 2001 or later)
  • 288,341 served during the Gulf War (August 1990 to August 2001) and the Vietnam Era.
  • 152,416 served during the Korean War and the Vietnam Era.
  • 65,704 served during World War II and the Korean War.

Where They Live

3

The number of states with 1.0 million or more veterans in 2015. These states were California (1.6 million), Texas (1.5 million) and Florida (1.5 million).

Education

27.7%

The percentage of veterans 25 years and older with a bachelor's degree or higher in 2015. In comparison, 30.8 percent of nonveterans had a bachelor's degree or higher.

Income

$38,978

The annual median income of male veterans in 2015, compared with $34,168 for male nonveterans.

$32,446

The annual median income of female veterans in 2015, compared with $22,505 for female nonveterans.

7.2 million

The number of veterans 18 to 64 years old in the labor force in 2015. Of those veterans, 6.8 million were employed.

Service-Connected Disabilities

3.9 million

The number of veterans with a service-connected disability rating in 2015. Of this number, 1.2 million had a rating of 70.0 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 0.0 to 100.0 percent, and eligibility for compensation depends on one's rating.

Voting

11.5 million

The number of veterans who voted in the 2014 congressional election. In that election, 54.0 percent of veterans cast a ballot, compared with 41.0 percent of nonveterans. These rates reflect the citizen population.

Business Owners

405,235

The number of all U.S. employer firms that are majority owned by veterans. Veteran-owned firms comprised 7.5 percent of the nation's 5.4 million employer businesses.

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