Special Report

This Is the American City Where the Most People Are in the Military

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has prompted governments across Europe to ramp up defense spending. As guarantor of security for European NATO members, the United States is also  seeking to boost military spending. The Biden Administration submitted a $813.3 billion fiscal 2023 defense budget request to Congress last month – representing a 4.1% increase from the fiscal 2022 defense budget. (Here is a look at how Russian and Ukrainian military spending compares to the world.) 

The U.S. defense budget – by far the world’s largest – serves to maintain the military’s ability to project power around the world and deter acts of aggression that may threaten national interests. Not only does America’s massive military budget underpin the architecture of international peace and security, it also has significant economic implications domestically.

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 of their spouses and children are stationed at those same bases. These servicemen and women and their families attend local schools, shop at local businesses, and are fundamental to the economic and social fabric of their communities. In Hinesville, Georgia, for example, active duty military personnel and their dependents account for 56% of the population, the most of any U.S. metro area. 

Using data compiled by Defense Department contractor Military OneSource, 24/7 Wall St. identified the 25 American cities with the most people in the military. We ranked metropolitan areas by the total number of active duty military personnel and their dependents as a share of the total population. 

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, which include some of the largest in the world, are home to thousands of military personnel and sometimes their families. Here is a look at America’s largest military bases.

Click here to see the American city where the most people are in the military
Click here to read our detailed methodology

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