Special Report

This Is the City with the Most Veterans in Wisconsin

Young Americans enlist in the armed services for many reasons, including the opportunity to gain new skills, get physically fit, and earn financial assistance to pay for college. One of the most common reasons, however, is to serve the country. On top of the more than 1.4 million active-duty service members in the military, the United States is home to over 17.8 million veterans.

The sacrifices veterans have made for the country often follow them long after their service. Nearly half of those who served after the terror attacks of 9/11 say they had an emotionally traumatic or distressing experience while serving, and about one in four of all veterans say readjusting to civilian life was at least somewhat difficult, according to a Pew Research study.

Still, the same study also found that over half of all veterans say their service provided them with useful skills and training for the civilian job market, and that veterans are less likely to live in poverty and more likely to have higher incomes than their nonveteran counterparts.

Veterans of the armed service reside in cities across the country, but some parts of the country have a considerably higher concentration of military vets than others.

Of the communities in Wisconsin with populations of at least 25,000, Manitowoc has the highest share of military veterans. There are about 25,800 civilians 18 and older residing in Manitowoc, and 8.4% of them have a history of military service, compared to 7.0% of all civilian adults across the state as a whole. Nationwide, 7.1% of civilian adults are veterans.

It is important to note that while many veterans chose to enlist out of a sense of patriotic duty, many living veterans did not choose to serve and were drafted into service during the Vietnam War. In Manitowoc, 33.8% of all veterans served only during the Vietnam Era.

Data in this story comes from the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2020 American Community Survey, and figures are five-year estimates. We used census “place” geographies — a category that includes incorporated legal entities and census-designated statistical entities.

 

State City with the most veterans Adult civilians who are veterans (%) Adult civilians who are veterans in state (%)
Alabama Enterprise 19.1 8.6
Alaska Fairbanks 14.9 12.1
Arizona Sierra Vista 26.8 8.9
Arkansas Jacksonville 15.2 8.3
California Twentynine Palms 18.9 5.0
Colorado Fountain 23.3 8.4
Connecticut Norwich 8.5 5.7
Delaware Dover 11.1 8.6
Florida Navarre 25.8 8.4
Georgia Hinesville 26.9 7.9
Hawaii Mililani Town 12.9 9.1
Idaho Twin Falls 9.5 8.9
Illinois O’Fallon 19.7 5.6
Indiana Richmond 9.9 7.3
Iowa Marshalltown 10.9 7.4
Kansas Leavenworth 19.5 7.9
Kentucky Elizabethtown 14.2 7.5
Louisiana Bossier City 13.5 6.8
Maine Lewiston 9.5 9.3
Maryland Odenton 16.0 7.7
Massachusetts Barnstable Town 8.7 5.3
Michigan Port Huron 8.8 6.8
Minnesota Ramsey 7.9 6.8
Mississippi Biloxi 14.7 7.3
Missouri Gladstone 10.7 8.3
Montana Great Falls 14.6 10.3
Nebraska Bellevue 17.7 7.9
Nevada Pahrump 17.8 8.8
New Hampshire Rochester 11.2 8.5
New Jersey Paramus 6.8 4.5
New Mexico Alamogordo 20.5 8.8
New York Watertown 11.7 4.4
North Carolina Fayetteville 19.6 8.2
North Dakota Minot 10.9 8.0
Ohio Beavercreek 15.8 7.6
Oklahoma Lawton 17.6 9.0
Oregon Medford 10.6 8.3
Pennsylvania Altoona 9.4 7.2
Rhode Island Warwick 7.8 6.1
South Carolina Goose Creek 16.9 9.1
South Dakota Rapid City 11.8 8.5
Tennessee Clarksville 20.3 8.2
Texas Harker Heights 30.1 6.8
Utah Clearfield 9.8 5.4
Vermont Burlington 3.2 6.9
Virginia Hampton 18.3 10.3
Washington Lakewood 16.7 8.9
West Virginia Parkersburg 10.9 8.7
Wisconsin Manitowoc 8.4 7.0
Wyoming Cheyenne 14.5 10.0

 

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