To determine the states that have the most active-duty military personnel, 24/7 Wall St. used military personnel data from the Department of Defense, current as of March 2020 and adjusted per 100,000 total state population. We based our ranking on active duty personnel only — men and women serving in either the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, or Coast Guard on a full-time basis.
Data on the largest base by personnel in each state came from the “2018 Demographics Report,” compiled by Defense Department contractor Military OneSource. Total base personnel counts only include service men and women.
Per capita Department of Defense spending figures by state came from the Office of Economic Adjustment and are for 2017, the most recent available year.
Total state population came from the U.S. Census Bureau’s American Community Survey 2018 1-Year Estimates.