Special Report

America’s 25 Military Cities

Following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the U.S. deployed 12,000 troops to NATO member nations in Europe in early March. It is unclear if more American troops will be deployed. President Joe Biden has said none of these American military members will take part in fighting against Russia. They are there to bolster the security of nearby nations that are members of NATO.

These deployments represent just a small share of the U.S. military. There are nearly 1.2 million Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marine service members assigned at military bases across the United States. An additional 1.5 million spouses and children of military personnel are stationed at those same bases. These servicemen and servicewomen and their families attend local schools, shop at local businesses, and are fundamental to the fabric of their communities.

To identify America’s military cities, 24/7 Wall St. reviewed the total number of active duty military personnel and their families, using data compiled by Defense Department contractor Military OneSource. Metro areas were ranked by the share of military personnel and their families out of the total metro area population. In the metro areas on this list, U.S. troops and their families account for anywhere from 6.7% to over 50% of the total metro area population. Nationwide, less than 1% of the population are active-duty service members.

The large military presence in the metro areas on this list is typically attributable to the presence of one or several nearby military bases or installations. These bases are home to thousands of military personnel and sometimes their families. Some of the metro areas are home to some of the largest military bases in the world. Here is a look at America’s largest military bases.

Not only do these cities often have large active-duty military populations, but many also appeal to former servicemen and servicewomen. Nationwide, 5.3% of the population are veterans. In nearly every metro area on this list, veterans comprise a far larger share of the total population. Here is a look at the states with the most veterans.

Click here to see America’s military cities
Click here to see our methodology

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