Military

States With the Most American Armed Forces Personnel: All 50 Ranked

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The United States military is a cornerstone of national security and sustains an expansive presence across the country. The U.S. has long favored a policy of military deterrence towards its geopolitical adversaries, which hinges on maintaining a large, well-trained fighting force. In keeping with this strategy, the Department of Defense ranks as one of the single largest employers in the world. (Here is a look at the size of the American military every year since the Korean War.)

More than 1.1 million active-duty service members are stationed at military bases across the 50 states and Washington, D.C. Nearly 2.6 million Americans are directly employed by the Pentagon, including reserve troops, the National Guard, and civilian personnel.

Using data from the DOD report Defense Spending By State Fiscal Year 2022, 24/7 Wall St. identified the states with the most military personnel. States are ranked by the number of Defense Department personnel in each state, including civilian workers, the National Guard, reservists, and active-duty service members.

The number of military personnel in each state ranges from just under 4,000 to nearly 273,000. While populous states like California, Texas, and Florida top the list, the presence of major military bases in each state also plays a significant role in the population of military personnel. (This is the county in every state with the most military personnel.)

Virginia is an excellent example of this. Home to the Norfolk Naval Station (the largest navy base in the world), Virginia maintains a quarter-million Department of Defense personnel — the second-highest concentration nationwide — despite not even ranking among the 10 most populous states overall.

Why We’re Writing About the States with the Most Military Personnel

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The number of military personnel in each state goes beyond troop deployment and national security. It also carries financial implications, as states with higher numbers of armed forces personnel often enjoy a boost in their economies. While this can also mean a higher cost of living, it potentially also means a stronger housing market and more job opportunities within the state.

These are the states with the most military personnel.

50. Vermont

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Vermont is the second-smallest state with a population of around 647,064 (as of 2022). It is home to 3,802 members of the armed forces, with active-duty (3.1%), National Guard and reserve (82.2%), and civilian (14.7%) personnel. The U.S. Army is the state’s largest service branch with 2,353 personnel, accounting for 64.2% of all military personnel in the state. In 2022, Vermont’s DOD military payroll expenditures reached $170.9 million, representing 31.0% of all military spending in state.

49. New Hampshire

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New Hampshire is the tenth-smallest state with a population of around 1,395,231 (as of 2022). It is home to 6,010 members of the armed forces, with active-duty (17.7%), National Guard/Reserve (65.7%), and civilian (16.6%) personnel. The U.S. Army is the state’s largest service branch with 2,915 members, accounting for 49.7% of all military personnel in the state. In 2022, New Hampshire’s DOD military payroll expenditures reached $291.5 million, representing 17.8% of all military spending in state.

48. Wyoming

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Wyoming is the smallest state with a population of around 581,381 (as of 2022). It is home to 7,171 members of the armed forces, with active-duty (43.8%), National Guard/Reserve (41.0%), and civilian (15.1%) personnel. The U.S. Air Force is the state’s largest service branch with 5,095 members, accounting for 71.6% of all military personnel in the state. In 2022, Wyoming’s DOD military payroll expenditures reached $348.9 million, representing 56.7% of all military spending in state. Wyoming is also home to Francis E. Warren AFB (Air Force).

47. Montana

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Montana is the eighth smallest state with a population of around 1,122,867 (as of 2022). It is home to 8,708 members of the armed forces, with active-duty (37.3%), National Guard/Reserve (46.4%), and civilian (16.4%) personnel. The U.S. Air Force is the state’s largest service branch with 4,771 members, accounting for 56.1% of all military personnel in the state. In 2022, Montana’s DOD military payroll expenditures reached $416.2 million, representing 62.7% of all military spending in state. Montana is also home to Malmstrom AFB (Air Force).

46. South Dakota

South Dakota is the fifth smallest state with a population of around 909,824 (as of 2022). It is home to 9,325 members of the armed forces, with active-duty (36.3%), National Guard/Reserve (48.5%), and civilian (15.1%) personnel. The U.S. Air Force is the state’s largest service branch with 5,067 members, accounting for 55.6% of all military personnel in the state. In 2022, South Dakota’s DOD military payroll expenditures reached $400.6 million, representing 37.7% of all military spending in state. South Dakota is also home to Ellsworth AFB (Air Force).

45. West Virginia

West Virginia is the twelfth smallest state with a population of around 1,775,156 (as of 2022). It is home to 9,627 members of the armed forces, with active-duty (1.1%), National Guard/Reserve (78.5%), and civilian (20.4%) personnel. The U.S. Army is the state’s largest service branch with 6,829 members, accounting for 72.7% of all military personnel in the state. In 2022, West Virginia’s DOD military payroll expenditures reached $364.6 million, representing 60.7% of all military spending in state. 

44. Delaware

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Delaware is the sixth smallest state with a population of around 1,018,396 (as of 2022). It is home to 9,816 members of the armed forces, with active-duty (35.2%), National Guard/Reserve (50.0%), and civilian (14.8%) personnel. The U.S. Air Force is the state’s largest service branch with 6,792 members, accounting for 70.2% of all military personnel in the state. In 2022, Delaware’s DOD military payroll expenditures reached $456.2 million, representing 61.4% of all military spending in state. Delaware is also home to Dover AFB (Air Force).

43. Idaho

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Idaho is the thirteenth smallest state with a population of around 1,939,033 (as of 2022). It is home to 10,354 members of the armed forces, with active-duty (33.9%), National Guard/Reserve (50.7%), and civilian (15.5%) personnel. The U.S. Air Force is the state’s largest service branch with 5,232 members, accounting for 52.1% of all military personnel in the state. In 2022, Idaho’s DOD military payroll expenditures reached $487.7 million, representing 62.8% of all military spending in state. Idaho is also home to Mountain Home AFB (Air Force).

42. Oregon

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Oregon is the twenty-fourth smallest state with a population of around 4,240,137 (as of 2022). It is home to 12,126 members of the armed forces, with active-duty (4.5%), National Guard/Reserve (71.6%), and civilian (23.9%) personnel. The U.S. Army is the state’s largest service branch with 7,989 members, accounting for 67.5% of all military personnel in the state. In 2022, Oregon’s DOD military payroll expenditures reached $556.9 million, representing 47.5% of all military spending in state.

41. Maine

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Maine is the ninth smallest state with a population of around 1,385,340 (as of 2022). It is home to 12,480 members of the armed forces, with active-duty (2.3%), National Guard/Reserve (26.9%), and civilian (70.8%) personnel. The Navy/Marines is the state’s largest service branch with 7,674 members, accounting for 62.7% of all military personnel in the state. In 2022, Maine’s DOD military payroll expenditures reached $856.1 million, representing 23.5% of all military spending in state. Maine is also home to Portsmouth Naval Shipyard (Navy).

40. Iowa

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Iowa is the twentieth smallest state with a population of around 3,200,517 (as of 2022). It is home to 12,814 members of the armed forces, with active-duty (1.7%), National Guard/Reserve (85.2%), and civilian (13.1%) personnel. The Army is the state’s largest service branch with 9,886 members, accounting for 79.2% of all military personnel in the state. In 2022, Iowa’s DOD military payroll expenditures reached $379.1 million, representing 17.0% of all military spending in state.

39. Rhode Island

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Rhode Island is the seventh smallest state with a population of around 1,093,734 (as of 2022). It is home to 12,992 members of the armed forces, with active-duty (25.8%), National Guard/Reserve (33.3%), and civilian (40.9%) personnel. The Navy/Marines is the state’s largest service branch with 8,411 members, accounting for 65.7% of all military personnel in the state. In 2022, Rhode Island’s DOD military payroll expenditures reached $916.0 million, representing 55.9% of all military spending in state. Rhode Island is also home to Naval Station Newport (Army).

38. North Dakota

North Dakota is the fourth-smallest state with a population of around 779,261 (as of 2022). It is home to 13,490 members of the armed forces, with active-duty (53.6%), National Guard/Reserve (33.1%), and civilian (13.3%) personnel. The Air Force is the state’s largest service branch with 9,422 members, accounting for 70.5% of all military personnel in the state. In 2022, North Dakota’s DOD military payroll expenditures reached $693.2 million, representing 75.3% of all military spending in state. North Dakota is also home to Minot AFB (Air Force).

37. Connecticut

Connecticut is the twenty-second smallest state with a population of around 3,626,205 (as of 2022). It is home to 14,785 members of the armed forces, with active-duty (37.5%), National Guard/Reserve (44.6%), and civilian (18.0%) personnel. The Navy/Marines is the state’s largest service branch with 7,080 members, accounting for 48.6% of all military personnel in the state. In 2022, Connecticut’s DOD military payroll expenditures reached $819.9 million, representing 3.7% of all military spending in state. Connecticut is also home to New London NAVSUBBASE (Navy).

36. Nebraska

Nebraska is the fourteenth smallest state with a population of around 1,967,923 (as of 2022). It is home to 16,558 members of the armed forces, with active-duty (39.2%), National Guard/Reserve (35.9%), and civilian (25.0%) personnel. The Air Force is the state’s largest service branch with 9,723 members, accounting for 59.3% of all military personnel in the state. In 2022, Nebraska’s DOD military payroll expenditures reached $998.8 million, representing 58.4% of all military spending in state. Nebraska is also home to Offutt AFB (Air Force).

35. Wisconsin

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Wisconsin is the twentieth smallest state with a population of around 5,892,539 (as of 2022). It is home to 16,599 members of the armed forces, with active-duty (4.2%), National Guard/Reserve (79.1%), and civilian (16.6%) personnel. The Army is the state’s largest service branch with 12,482 members, accounting for 76.9% of all military personnel in the state. In 2022, Wisconsin’s DOD military payroll expenditures reached $586.6 million, representing 76.9% of all military spending in state. Wisconsin is also home to Fort McCoy (Army).

34. Arkansas

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Arkansas is the eighteenth smallest state with a population of around 3,045,637 (as of 2022). It is home to 17,997 members of the armed forces, with active-duty (20.7%), National Guard/Reserve (59.5%), and civilian (19.9%) personnel. The Army is the state’s largest service branch with 10,505 members, accounting for 59.3% of all military personnel in the state. In 2022, Arkansas’ DOD military payroll expenditures reached $758.5 million, representing 65.0% of all military spending in state. Arkansas is also home to Little Rock AFB (Air Force).

33. Minnesota

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Minnesota is the twenty-second largest state with a population of around 5,717,184 (as of 2022). It is home to 20,499 members of the armed forces, with active-duty (2.2%), National Guard/Reserve (84.7%), and civilian (13.1%) personnel. The Army is the state’s largest service branch with 14,609 members, accounting for 72.5% of all military personnel in the state. In 2022, Minnesota’s DOD military payroll expenditures reached $658.9 million, representing 33.5% of all military spending in state.

32. Massachusetts

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Massachusetts is the sixteenth largest state with a population of around 6,981,974 (as of 2022). It is home to 22,076 members of the armed forces, with active-duty (8.9%), National Guard/Reserve (60.8%), and civilian (30.3%) personnel. The Army is the state’s largest service branch with 10,941 members, accounting for 50.5% of all military personnel in the state. In 2022, Massachusetts’ DOD military payroll expenditures reached $1.2 billion, representing 7.9% of all military spending in state. Massachusetts is also home to Hanscom AFB (Air Force).

31. Nevada

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Nevada is the nineteenth smallest state with a population of around 3,177,772 (as of 2022). It is home to 23,086 members of the armed forces, with active-duty (53.0%), National Guard/Reserve (34.4%), and civilian (12.6%) personnel. The Air Force is the state’s largest service branch with 14,862 members, accounting for 64.9% of all military personnel in the state. In 2022, Nevada’s DOD military payroll expenditures reached $1.4 billion, representing 45.9% of all military spending in state. Massachusetts is also home to Nellis AFB (Air Force).

30. New Mexico

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New Mexico is the fifteenth smallest state with a population of around 2,113,344 (as of 2022). It is home to 24,575 members of the armed forces, with active-duty (53.9%), National Guard/Reserve (19.1%), and civilian (27.0%) personnel. The Air Force is the state’s largest service branch with 17,648 members, accounting for 71.9% of all military personnel in the state. In 2022, New Mexico’s DOD military payroll expenditures reached $1.5 billion, representing 33.5% of all military spending in state. New Mexico is also home to Cannon AFB (Air Force).

29. Michigan

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Michigan is the tenth largest state with a population of around 10,034,118 (as of 2022). It is home to 25,032 members of the armed forces, with active-duty (3.4%), National Guard/Reserve (57.6%), and civilian (39.0%) personnel. The Army is the state’s largest service branch with 18,106 members, accounting for 73.6% of all military personnel in the state. In 2022, Michigan’s DOD military payroll expenditures reached $1.4 billion, representing 18.5% of all military spending in state. Michigan is also home to Detroit Arsenal (Army).

28. Tennessee

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Tennessee is the fifteenth largest state with a population of around 7,051,339 (as of 2022). It is home to 26,134 members of the armed forces, with active-duty (8.5%), National Guard/Reserve (66.1%), and civilian (25.4%) personnel. The Army is the state’s largest service branch with 15,235 members, accounting for 59.2% of all military personnel in the state. In 2022, Tennessee’s DOD military payroll expenditures reached $1.1 billion, representing 37.1% of all military spending in state. Tennessee is also home to Naval Support Activity Mid-South (Navy).

27. Alaska

Alaska is the third smallest state with a population of around 733,583 (as of 2022). It is home to 28,452 members of the armed forces, with active-duty (65.0%), National Guard/Reserve (16.0%), and civilian (19.0%) personnel. The Army is the state’s largest service branch with 13,669 members, accounting for 48.6% of all military personnel in the state. In 2022, Alaska’s DOD military payroll expenditures reached $1.9 billion, representing 48.2% of all military spending in state. Alaska is also home to Fort Wainwright (Army).

26. Indiana

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Indiana is the seventeenth largest state with a population of around 6,833,037 (as of 2022). It is home to 29.952 members of the armed forces, with active-duty (3.4%), National Guard/Reserve (56.7%), and civilian (39.9%) personnel. The Army is the state’s largest service branch with 15,418 members, accounting for 52.2% of all military personnel in the state. In 2022, Indiana’s DOD military payroll expenditures reached $1.5 billion, representing 17.4% of all military spending in state. Indiana is also home to Naval Support Activity Crane (Navy).

25. Utah

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Utah is the twenty-first smallest state with a population of around 3,380,800 (as of 2022). It is home to 31,843 members of the armed forces, with active-duty (14.1%), National Guard/Reserve (35.8%), and civilian (50.2%) personnel. The Air Force is the state’s largest service branch with 19,051 members, accounting for 60.6% of all military personnel in the state. In 2022, Utah’s DOD military payroll expenditures reached $1.9 billion, representing 31.5% of all military spending in state. Utah is also home to Hill AFB (Air Force).

24. New Jersey

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New Jersey is the eleventh largest state with a population of around 9,261,699 (as of 2022). It is home to 33,430 members of the armed forces, with active-duty (18.5%), National Guard/Reserve (49.8%), and civilian (31.7%) personnel. The Army is the state’s largest service branch with 15,928 members, accounting for 48.2% of all military personnel in the state. In 2022, New Jersey’s DOD military payroll expenditures reached $2.0 billion, representing 21.4% of all military spending in state. New Jersey is also home to Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst (Multiple service branches).

23. Mississippi

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Mississippi is the seventeenth smallest state with a population of around 2,940,057 (as of 2022). It is home to 34,747 members of the armed forces, with active-duty (30.8%), National Guard/Reserve (41.1%), and civilian (28.1%) personnel. The Army is the state’s largest service branch with 13,960 members, accounting for 40.6% of all military personnel in the state. In 2022, Mississippi’s DOD military payroll expenditures reached $1.7 billion, representing 30.1% of all military spending in state. Mississippi is also home to Keesler AFB (Air Force).

22. Louisiana

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Louisiana is the twenty-fifth largest state with a population of around 4,590,241 (as of 2022). It is home to 36,419 members of the armed forces, with active-duty (37.8%), National Guard/Reserve (44.5%), and civilian (17.6%) personnel. The Army is the state’s largest service branch with 22,079 members, accounting for 61.2% of all military personnel in the state. In 2022, Louisiana’s DOD military payroll expenditures reached $1.8 billion, representing 54.2% of all military spending in state. Louisana is also home to Fort Johnson (Army).

21. Kansas

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Kansas is the sixteenth smallest state with a population of around 2,937,150 (as of 2022). It is home to 27,263 members of the armed forces, with active-duty (55.0%), National Guard/Reserve (26.5%), and civilian (18.6%) personnel. The Army is the state’s largest service branch with 28,425 members, accounting for 77.0% of all military personnel in the state. In 2022, Kansas’ DOD military payroll expenditures reached $2.1 billion, representing 57.8% of all military spending in state. Kansas is also home to Fort Riley (Army).

20. Missouri

Missouri is the eighteenth largest state with a population of around 6,177,957 (as of 2022). It is home to 39,952 members of the armed forces, with active-duty (35.5%), National Guard/Reserve (44.7%), and civilian (19.8%) personnel. The Army is the state’s largest service branch with 26,574 members, accounting for 67.3% of all military personnel in the state. In 2022, Missouri’s DOD military payroll expenditures reached $1.6 billion, representing 18.4% of all military spending in state. Kansas is also home to Fort Leonard Wood (Army).

19. Arizona

Arizona is the fourteenth largest state with a population of around 7,359,197 (as of 2022). It is home to 41,502 members of the armed forces, with active-duty (42.1%), National Guard/Reserve (35.7%), and civilian (22.2%) personnel. The Air Force is the state’s largest service branch with 18,497 members, accounting for 45.2% of all military personnel in the state. In 2022, Arizona’s DOD military payroll expenditures reached $2.3 billion, representing 15.0% of all military spending in state. Arizona is also home to Davis-Monthan AFB (Air Force).

18. Alabama

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Alabama is the twenty-fourth largest state with a population of around 5,074,296 (as of 2022). It is home to 49,895 members of the armed forces, with active-duty (14.5%), National Guard/Reserve (37.2%), and civilian (48.3%) personnel. The Army is the state’s largest service branch with 35,366 members, accounting for 71.4% of all military personnel in the state. In 2022, Alabama’s DOD military payroll expenditures reached $3.5 billion, representing 24.8% of all military spending in state. Alabama is also home to Fort Novosel (Army).

17. Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania is the fifth largest state with a population of around 12,972,008 (as of 2022). It is home to 54,181 members of the armed forces, with active-duty (4.0%), National Guard/Reserve (49.2%), and civilian (46.9%) personnel. The Army is the state’s largest service branch with 28,549 members, accounting for 53.5% of all military personnel in the state. In 2022, Pennsylvania’s DOD military payroll expenditures reached $3.1 billion, representing 17.4% of all military spending in state. Pennsylvania is also home to Carlisle Barracks (Army).

16. Kentucky

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Kentucky is the twenty-fifth smallest state with a population of around 4,512,310 (as of 2022). It is home to 56,290 members of the armed forces, with active-duty (61.2%), National Guard/Reserve (21.2%), and civilian (17.6%) personnel. The Army is the state’s largest service branch with 52,091 members, accounting for 93.1% of all military personnel in the state. In 2022, Kentucky’s DOD military payroll expenditures reached $3.3 billion, representing 23.5% of all military spending in state. Kentucky is also home to Fort Campbell (Army).

15. New York

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New York is the fourth largest state with a population of around 19,677,151 (as of 2022). It is home to 57,965 members of the armed forces, with active-duty (31.7%), National Guard/Reserve (48.1%), and civilian (20.1%) personnel. The Army is the state’s largest service branch with 40,391 members, accounting for 70.6% of all military personnel in the state. In 2022, New York’s DOD military payroll expenditures reached $2.9 billion, representing 10.3% of all military spending in state. New York is also home to Fort Drum (Army).

14. Illinois

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Illinois is the sixth largest state with a population of around 12,582,032 (as of 2022). It is home to 58,423 members of the armed forces, with active-duty (38.6%), National Guard/Reserve (39.9%), and civilian (21.5%) personnel. The Army is the state’s largest service branch with 23,945 members, accounting for 41.4% of all military personnel in the state. In 2022, Illinois’ DOD military payroll expenditures reached $2.4 billion, representing 23.9% of all military spending in state. Illinois is also home to Naval Station Great Lakes (Navy).

13. Oklahoma

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Oklahoma is the twenty-third smallest state with a population of around 4,019,800 (as of 2022). It is home to 59,376 members of the armed forces, with active-duty (35.5%), National Guard/Reserve (21.6%), and civilian (42.8%) personnel. The Air Force is the state’s largest service branch with 28,504 members, accounting for 48.5% of all military personnel in the state. In 2022, Oklahoma’s DOD military payroll expenditures reached $3.4 billion, representing 48.5% of all military spending in state. Oklahoma is also home to Fort Sill (Army).

12. Ohio

Ohio is the seventh largest state with a population of around 11,756,058 (as of 2022). It is home to 59,470 members of the armed forces, with active-duty (10.6%), National Guard/Reserve (43.5%), and civilian (45.9%) personnel. The Air Force is the state’s largest service branch with 28,886 members, accounting for 49.1% of all military personnel in the state. In 2022, Ohio’s DOD military payroll expenditures reached $3.6 billion, representing 40.1% of all military spending in state. Ohio is also home to Wright-Patterson AFB (Air Force).

11. Colorado

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Colorado is the twenty-first largest state with a population of around 5,839,926 (as of 2022). It is home to 59,917 members of the armed forces, with active-duty (57.4%), National Guard/Reserve (23.0%), and civilian (19.6%) personnel. The Army is the state’s largest service branch with 36,836 members, accounting for 58.5% of all military personnel in the state. In 2022, Colorado’s DOD military payroll expenditures reached $3.9 billion, representing 30.2% of all military spending in state. Colorado is also home to Fort Carson (Army).

10. South Carolina

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South Carolina is the twenty-third largest state in the U.S. with a population of around 5,282,634 (as of 2022). It is home to 65,493 members of the armed forces, with active-duty (56.8%), National Guard and reserve (26.3%), and civilian (16.9%) personnel. The U.S. Army is the state’s largest service branch with 26,090 members, accounting for 40.2% of all military personnel in the state. In 2022, South Carolina’s DOD military payroll expenditures reached $3.0 billion, representing 48.0% of all military spending in state. South Carolina is also home to Fort Jackson (Army).

9. Hawaii

Hawaii is the eleventh smallest state in the U.S. with a population of around 1,440,196 (as of 2022). It is home to 68,754 members of the armed forces, with active-duty (57.0%), National Guard/Reserve (13.7%), and civilian (29.4%) personnel. The U.S. Navy/Marines is the state’s largest service branch with 31,169 members, accounting for 45.6% of all military personnel in the state. In 2022, Hawaii’s DOD military payroll expenditures reached $5.3 billion, representing 60.9% of all military spending in state. Hawaii is also home to Schofield Barracks (Army).

8. Maryland

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Maryland is the nineteenth largest state in the U.S. with a population of around 6,164,660 (as of 2022). It is home to 93,930 members of the armed forces, with active-duty (30.4%), National Guard/Reserve (19.2%), and civilian (50.3%) personnel. The U.S. Army is the state’s largest service branch with 33,918 members, accounting for 36.4% of all military personnel in the state. In 2022, Maryland’s DOD military payroll expenditures reached $8.4 billion, representing 31.6% of all military spending in state. Maryland is also home to Fort George G. Meade (Army).

7. Washington

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Washington is the thirteenth largest state in the U.S. with a population of around 7,785,786 (as of 2022). It is home to 108,542 members of the armed forces, with active-duty (55.8%), National Guard/Reserve (15.4%), and civilian (28.8%) personnel. The U.S. Navy/Marines is the state’s largest service branch with 48,602 members, accounting for 45.0% of all military personnel in the state. In 2022, Washington’s DOD military payroll expenditures reached $7.4 billion, representing 50.8% of all military spending in state. Washington is also home to Joint Base Lewis-McChord (Multiple service branches).

6. Georgia

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Georgia is the eighth largest state in the U.S. with a population of around 10,912,876 (as of 2022). It is home to 124,079 members of the armed forces, with active-duty (51.1%), National Guard/Reserve (21.3%), and civilian (27.6%) personnel. The U.S. Army is the state’s largest service branch with 73,768 members, accounting for 59.8% of all military personnel in the state. In 2022, Georgia’s DOD military payroll expenditures reached $7.2 billion, representing 53.8% of all military spending in state. Georgia is also home to Fort Moore (Army).

5. Florida

Florida is the third largest state in the U.S. with a population of around 22,244,823 (as of 2022). It is home to 132,265 members of the armed forces, with active-duty (46.8%), National Guard/Reserve (27.7%), and civilian (25.5%) personnel. The U.S. Navy/Marines is the state’s largest service branch with 52,815 members, accounting for 40.1% of all military personnel in the state. In 2022, Florida’s DOD military payroll expenditures reached $8.5 billion, representing 28.1% of all military spending in state. Florida is also home to Mayport NAVSTA (Navy).

4. North Carolina

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North Carolina is the ninth largest state in the U.S. with a population of around 10,698,973 (as of 2022). It is home to 137,146 members of the armed forces, with active-duty (68.9%), National Guard/Reserve (14.7%), and civilian (16.4%) personnel. The U.S. Army is the state’s largest service branch with 68,330 members, accounting for 50.0% of all military personnel in the state. In 2022, North Carolina’s DOD military payroll expenditures reached $7.6 billion, representing 56.3% of all military spending in state. North Carolina is also home to Fort Liberty (Army).

3. Texas

Texas is the second largest state in the U.S. with a population of around 30,029,572 (as of 2022). It is home to 214,865 members of the armed forces, with active-duty (52.3%), National Guard/Reserve (25.5%), and civilian (22.3%) personnel. The U.S. Army is the state’s largest service branch with 122,524 members, accounting for 57.3% of all military personnel in the state. In 2022, Texas’ DOD military payroll expenditures reached $12.1 billion, representing 20.9% of all military spending in state. Texas is also home to Fort Cavazos (Army).

2. Virginia

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Virginia is the twelfth largest state in the U.S. with a population of around 8,683,619 (as of 2022). It is home to 247,314 members of the armed forces, with active-duty (50.2%), National Guard/Reserve (10.0%), and civilian (39.8%) personnel. The U.S. Navy/Marines is the state’s largest service branch with 145,047 members, accounting for 58.8% of all military personnel in the state. In 2022, Virginia’s DOD military payroll expenditures reached $20.3 billion, representing 32.4% of all military spending in state. Virginia is also home to Norfolk Naval Base (Navy).

1. California

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California is the largest state in the U.S. with a population of around 39,029,342 (as of 2022). It is home to 272,971 members of the armed forces, with active-duty (57.6%), National Guard/Reserve (19.3%), and civilian (23.1%) personnel. The U.S. Navy/Marines is the state’s largest service branch with 181,395 members, accounting for 66.5% of all military personnel in the state. In 2022, California’s DOD military payroll expenditures reached $17.2 billion, representing 30.7% of all military spending in state. California is also home to Camp Pendleton (Marine Corps).

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