Special Report

States With the Most Veterans

The United States continues to wield its global military dominance in wars and armed conflicts around the world. While the vast majority of Americans will never go to war, millions have.

The U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs (VA) estimates that 41.89 million Americans have fought in wars, from the American Revolution in 1775 to Desert Storm in 1991. Since Sept. 11, 2001, the start of the Global War on Terror, 3.3 million veterans have served in the U.S. military. Today, there are around 1.4 million active-duty military service members living in the United States or deployed in more than 150 countries. Here are America’s military cities, and here are the countries with the most U.S. military bases.

As of the end of 2018, there were approximately 18 million veterans in the United States, or 7.1% of the adult population. More than 5 million veterans have at least one disability, 1.2 million live in poverty, and 77% of veterans aged 18 to 64 are employed or looking for work. At the end of 2018, an estimated 37,878 veterans were homeless.

Close to 4 million or 35.5% of U.S. veterans served in Vietnam, the most heavily represented conflict among veterans. In all states but three the largest group of veterans is that of Vietnam War vets. Alaska, Hawaii, and Virginia are the exception. The largest group of veterans in these three states served in the Gulf War.

24/7 Wall St. reviewed for every state the veteran status of the civilian population 18 years and over from the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2018 1-year American Community Survey. The number and percentages of Vietnam War veterans, veterans with a disability, labor force participation rates among veterans (the percentage of working age veterans who are employed or looking for work), and veterans with incomes at or below the poverty level also came from the ACS. The estimated numbers of homeless veterans in each state are point in time estimates in December and came from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s annual report to congress on homelessness in the United States. 

Click here to see the states with the most veterans