Special Report

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

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5. Fayetteville, NC
> Military members and their families: 21.5% of pop. (113,035)
> Largest military base: Fort Bragg
> Service branch with largest presence: Army
> Veterans: 10.3% of pop. (54,360)

The Fayetteville, North Carolina, metro area is home to Fort Bragg, the largest Army base by personnel in the United States. The area also hosts the Pope Air Force Base. Over 113,000 military personnel and their families are stationed in the metro area, or 21.5% of the total local population.

The base, which spans more than 250 square miles, accounts for about $11 billion in economic activity annually.

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4. Manhattan, KS
> Military members and their families: 25.6% of pop. (33,295)
> Largest military base: Fort Riley
> Service branch with largest presence: Army
> Veterans: 7.5% of pop. (9,832)

More than one-quarter of the Manhattan, Kansas, metro area population are active-duty military or military family members. All of the 33,295 active duty personnel and their family are associated with the Fort Riley Army Base. The base is home to the 1st Brigade, 1st Infantry Division, 3rd Brigade, 1st Armored Division, and the 937th Engineer Group.

As is often the case in metro areas with large military bases, the Manhattan metro area is a popular place for servicemen and servicewomen to retire. Nearly 10,000 Manhattan metro area residents — 7.5% of the population — are veterans of the armed services.

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3. Watertown-Fort Drum, NY
> Military members and their families: 29.1% of pop. (32,011)
> Largest military base: Fort Drum
> Service branch with largest presence: Army
> Veterans: 8.2% of pop. (9,043)

Fort Drum, an Army base located just northeast of Watertown, is by far the largest military installation in New York state. The base, which spans over 100,000 acres, is home to the 10th Mountain Division. More than 32,000 troops and their family members are stationed at the base.

The base is an economic pillar in the Watertown area. In addition to accounting for nearly 30% of the metro area population, it is the largest employer in northern New York. The base’s economic impact on the surrounding region topped $1.3 billion in fiscal 2019.

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2. Jacksonville, NC
> Military members and their families: 41.9% of pop. (82,907)
> Largest military base: Camp Lejeune Marine Corps Base
> Service branch with largest presence: Marine Corps
> Veterans: 12.6% of pop. (24,893)

Jacksonville, North Carolina, is home to 198,00 people — and about 42% of them are active-duty military service members and their families. Another 25,000 people in the metro area, or 12.6% of the population, are veterans.

The large military presence in the area is due primarily to Camp Lejeune Marine Corps Base, where nearly 39,000 active-duty Marines and 25,800 of their dependents are stationed. The base, which is situated along the Atlantic Coast, supports Naval, Coast Guard and Marine operations and is the largest concentration of Marines and sailors in the world.

1. Hinesville, GA
> Military members and their families: 55.9% of pop. (45,302)
> Largest military base: Fort Stewart
> Service branch with largest presence: Army
> Veterans: 13.5% of pop. (10,902)

Hinesville, Georgia, is the only metro area in the United States where over half the population are active-duty military service members and their family. Of the 81,000 metro area residents, 45,300 are military or military families. Another 10,902 metro area residents are veterans of the armed services.

The Hinesville metro area is home to the Fort Stewart Army Base. Covering 280,000 acres, much of which are used for artillery and gunnery training, Fort Stewart is the largest Army installation east of the Mississippi River. In addition to the troops stationed there, more than 4,000 civilians are employed at the base.

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