Special Report

The City Where the Fewest Veterans Live in Every State

tedpagel / iStock Editorial via Getty Images

There are over 17.8 million military veterans living in the United States. These men and women, who have sacrificed more for their country than most lifelong civilians ever will, reside in cities and towns across the country, and are an important part of the social and economic fabric of their communities. 

Young Americans enlist in the armed services for many reasons. In addition to service to their country, the reasons often include the opportunity to get physically fit and gain new skills. And many of these skills appear to pay off beyond their military service. A Pew Research study found that over half of all veterans say their service provided them with useful training for the civilian job market. Veterans are also less likely to live in poverty and more likely to have higher incomes than their non-veteran counterparts. 

Nationwide, 7.1% of the total U.S. civilian adult population are veterans. This amount can vary considerably from place to place, however, and in some major U.S. cities, veteran populations are relatively small. Using data from the U.S. Census Bureau, 24/7 Wall St. identified the metropolitan area with the fewest veterans in every state. Metro areas are ranked by the share of adult residents who are veterans.

It is important to note that four states – Delaware, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont – have only one metro area each. As a result, the metro area in these states ranks as having the smallest veteran population by default only. 

Among the metro areas on this list, the share of the adult civilian population with a history of military service ranges from about 2% to just under 13%, and in most cases, falls below the statewide share by at least 1.5 percentage points.

Military veterans are slightly less likely than non-veterans to have a bachelor’s degree, and many of the metro areas on this list are home to major colleges and universities, including Lawrence, Kansas; Ann Arbor, Michigan; and State College, Pennsylvania. Here is a look at the U.S. presidents who have served in the military. 

While many veterans chose to enlist out of a sense of patriotic duty, many living veterans did not choose to serve and were drafted into the military during the Vietnam War. In nearly every metro area on this list, those whose period of service is confined to the Vietnam Era account for over 25% of the total veteran population. Here is a look at the wars that claimed the most American lives

Click here to see the city where the fewest veterans live in every state 
Click here to read our detailed methodology

Alabama: Tuscaloosa
> Civilian adults who have served in the military: 6.7% (Alabama: 8.6%)
> Veterans who first enlisted after 9/11: 17.1% (Alabama: 13.7%)
> Veterans who served in the Vietnam Era only: 30.2% (Alabama: 31.6%)
> Veterans who served during the Korean War only: 4.7% (Alabama: 5.4%)
> No. of metros considered in ranking: 12

[in-text-ad]

Alaska: Anchorage
> Civilian adults who have served in the military: 12.9% (Alaska: 12.1%)
> Veterans who first enlisted after 9/11: 21.6% (Alaska: 21.8%)
> Veterans who served in the Vietnam Era only: 24.0% (Alaska: 26.2%)
> Veterans who served during the Korean War only: 2.1% (Alaska: 2.5%)
> No. of metros considered in ranking: 2

Arizona: Flagstaff
> Civilian adults who have served in the military: 6.0% (Arizona: 8.9%)
> Veterans who first enlisted after 9/11: 20.6% (Arizona: 13.0%)
> Veterans who served in the Vietnam Era only: 33.6% (Arizona: 34.2%)
> Veterans who served during the Korean War only: 3.2% (Arizona: 6.8%)
> No. of metros considered in ranking: 7

Arkansas: Jonesboro
> Civilian adults who have served in the military: 6.2% (Arkansas: 8.3%)
> Veterans who first enlisted after 9/11: 16.1% (Arkansas: 13.1%)
> Veterans who served in the Vietnam Era only: 30.8% (Arkansas: 34.0%)
> Veterans who served during the Korean War only: 10.9% (Arkansas: 5.9%)
> No. of metros considered in ranking: 6

[in-text-ad-2]

California: San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara
> Civilian adults who have served in the military: 3.2% (California: 5.0%)
> Veterans who first enlisted after 9/11: 12.5% (California: 14.9%)
> Veterans who served in the Vietnam Era only: 33.8% (California: 32.5%)
> Veterans who served during the Korean War only: 9.9% (California: 7.5%)
> No. of metros considered in ranking: 26

Colorado: Boulder
> Civilian adults who have served in the military: 5.2% (Colorado: 8.4%)
> Veterans who first enlisted after 9/11: 14.3% (Colorado: 16.8%)
> Veterans who served in the Vietnam Era only: 34.6% (Colorado: 30.3%)
> Veterans who served during the Korean War only: 7.7% (Colorado: 5.0%)
> No. of metros considered in ranking: 7

[in-text-ad]

Connecticut: Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk
> Civilian adults who have served in the military: 4.0% (Connecticut: 5.7%)
> Veterans who first enlisted after 9/11: 7.8% (Connecticut: 10.9%)
> Veterans who served in the Vietnam Era only: 36.1% (Connecticut: 34.3%)
> Veterans who served during the Korean War only: 11.0% (Connecticut: 10.3%)
> No. of metros considered in ranking: 4

Delaware: Dover
> Civilian adults who have served in the military: 12.8% (Delaware: 8.6%)
> Veterans who first enlisted after 9/11: 14.9% (Delaware: 10.3%)
> Veterans who served in the Vietnam Era only: 28.0% (Delaware: 35.9%)
> Veterans who served during the Korean War only: 4.4% (Delaware: 6.1%)
> No. of metros considered in ranking: 1

*Because Dover is the only eligible metro in Delaware, it is the metro with the fewest veterans by default.

Florida: Miami-Fort Lauderdale-Pompano Beach
> Civilian adults who have served in the military: 4.0% (Florida: 8.4%)
> Veterans who first enlisted after 9/11: 12.4% (Florida: 11.2%)
> Veterans who served in the Vietnam Era only: 30.1% (Florida: 32.1%)
> Veterans who served during the Korean War only: 10.3% (Florida: 7.5%)
> No. of metros considered in ranking: 22

[in-text-ad-2]

Georgia: Dalton
> Civilian adults who have served in the military: 4.7% (Georgia: 7.9%)
> Veterans who first enlisted after 9/11: 12.1% (Georgia: 14.9%)
> Veterans who served in the Vietnam Era only: 39.0% (Georgia: 29.1%)
> Veterans who served during the Korean War only: 7.6% (Georgia: 4.2%)
> No. of metros considered in ranking: 14

Hawaii: Kahului-Wailuku-Lahaina
> Civilian adults who have served in the military: 6.4% (Hawaii: 9.1%)
> Veterans who first enlisted after 9/11: 9.9% (Hawaii: 19.5%)
> Veterans who served in the Vietnam Era only: 40.7% (Hawaii: 30.7%)
> Veterans who served during the Korean War only: 5.9% (Hawaii: 6.0%)
> No. of metros considered in ranking: 2

[in-text-ad]

Idaho: Idaho Falls
> Civilian adults who have served in the military: 7.3% (Idaho: 8.9%)
> Veterans who first enlisted after 9/11: 9.6% (Idaho: 11.6%)
> Veterans who served in the Vietnam Era only: 37.5% (Idaho: 35.6%)
> Veterans who served during the Korean War only: 7.4% (Idaho: 6.2%)
> No. of metros considered in ranking: 6

Illinois: Chicago-Naperville-Elgin
> Civilian adults who have served in the military: 4.6% (Illinois: 5.6%)
> Veterans who first enlisted after 9/11: 12.5% (Illinois: 11.9%)
> Veterans who served in the Vietnam Era only: 34.3% (Illinois: 34.6%)
> Veterans who served during the Korean War only: 7.6% (Illinois: 7.9%)
> No. of metros considered in ranking: 10

Indiana: Lafayette-West Lafayette
> Civilian adults who have served in the military: 5.1% (Indiana: 7.3%)
> Veterans who first enlisted after 9/11: 12.1% (Indiana: 12.1%)
> Veterans who served in the Vietnam Era only: 30.2% (Indiana: 33.7%)
> Veterans who served during the Korean War only: 7.9% (Indiana: 6.8%)
> No. of metros considered in ranking: 12

[in-text-ad-2]

Iowa: Iowa City
> Civilian adults who have served in the military: 4.6% (Iowa: 7.4%)
> Veterans who first enlisted after 9/11: 15.4% (Iowa: 11.2%)
> Veterans who served in the Vietnam Era only: 28.2% (Iowa: 35.1%)
> Veterans who served during the Korean War only: 11.2% (Iowa: 9.0%)
> No. of metros considered in ranking: 8

Kansas: Lawrence
> Civilian adults who have served in the military: 5.3% (Kansas: 7.9%)
> Veterans who first enlisted after 9/11: 20.4% (Kansas: 14.8%)
> Veterans who served in the Vietnam Era only: 29.6% (Kansas: 32.9%)
> Veterans who served during the Korean War only: 4.6% (Kansas: 7.3%)
> No. of metros considered in ranking: 4

[in-text-ad]

Kentucky: Lexington-Fayette
> Civilian adults who have served in the military: 6.6% (Kentucky: 7.5%)
> Veterans who first enlisted after 9/11: 13.8% (Kentucky: 12.0%)
> Veterans who served in the Vietnam Era only: 32.0% (Kentucky: 34.4%)
> Veterans who served during the Korean War only: 7.4% (Kentucky: 5.4%)
> No. of metros considered in ranking: 5

Louisiana: Houma-Thibodaux
> Civilian adults who have served in the military: 5.3% (Louisiana: 6.8%)
> Veterans who first enlisted after 9/11: 14.5% (Louisiana: 14.0%)
> Veterans who served in the Vietnam Era only: 36.1% (Louisiana: 33.3%)
> Veterans who served during the Korean War only: 7.4% (Louisiana: 5.7%)
> No. of metros considered in ranking: 9

Maine: Portland-South Portland
> Civilian adults who have served in the military: 8.6% (Maine: 9.3%)
> Veterans who first enlisted after 9/11: 9.8% (Maine: 8.5%)
> Veterans who served in the Vietnam Era only: 35.5% (Maine: 35.7%)
> Veterans who served during the Korean War only: 7.4% (Maine: 7.0%)
> No. of metros considered in ranking: 3

[in-text-ad-2]

Maryland: Baltimore-Columbia-Towson
> Civilian adults who have served in the military: 7.8% (Maryland: 7.7%)
> Veterans who first enlisted after 9/11: 14.4% (Maryland: 14.2%)
> Veterans who served in the Vietnam Era only: 28.8% (Maryland: 27.8%)
> Veterans who served during the Korean War only: 5.7% (Maryland: 5.5%)
> No. of metros considered in ranking: 5

Massachusetts: Boston-Cambridge-Newton
> Civilian adults who have served in the military: 4.9% (Massachusetts: 5.3%)
> Veterans who first enlisted after 9/11: 12.4% (Massachusetts: 11.4%)
> Veterans who served in the Vietnam Era only: 32.7% (Massachusetts: 33.5%)
> Veterans who served during the Korean War only: 10.5% (Massachusetts: 10.1%)
> No. of metros considered in ranking: 5

[in-text-ad]

Michigan: Ann Arbor
> Civilian adults who have served in the military: 4.4% (Michigan: 6.8%)
> Veterans who first enlisted after 9/11: 11.5% (Michigan: 9.8%)
> Veterans who served in the Vietnam Era only: 34.4% (Michigan: 36.5%)
> Veterans who served during the Korean War only: 6.7% (Michigan: 7.8%)
> No. of metros considered in ranking: 14

Minnesota: Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington
> Civilian adults who have served in the military: 6.0% (Minnesota: 6.8%)
> Veterans who first enlisted after 9/11: 12.4% (Minnesota: 11.4%)
> Veterans who served in the Vietnam Era only: 35.5% (Minnesota: 36.8%)
> Veterans who served during the Korean War only: 8.8% (Minnesota: 9.2%)
> No. of metros considered in ranking: 5

Mississippi: Jackson
> Civilian adults who have served in the military: 6.1% (Mississippi: 7.3%)
> Veterans who first enlisted after 9/11: 15.4% (Mississippi: 14.6%)
> Veterans who served in the Vietnam Era only: 29.8% (Mississippi: 30.4%)
> Veterans who served during the Korean War only: 6.9% (Mississippi: 5.1%)
> No. of metros considered in ranking: 3

[in-text-ad-2]

Missouri: Columbia
> Civilian adults who have served in the military: 6.7% (Missouri: 8.3%)
> Veterans who first enlisted after 9/11: 17.0% (Missouri: 12.0%)
> Veterans who served in the Vietnam Era only: 33.6% (Missouri: 35.2%)
> Veterans who served during the Korean War only: 6.2% (Missouri: 6.9%)
> No. of metros considered in ranking: 8

Montana: Missoula
> Civilian adults who have served in the military: 8.1% (Montana: 10.3%)
> Veterans who first enlisted after 9/11: 15.1% (Montana: 14.6%)
> Veterans who served in the Vietnam Era only: 33.5% (Montana: 35.4%)
> Veterans who served during the Korean War only: 3.4% (Montana: 5.8%)
> No. of metros considered in ranking: 3

[in-text-ad]

Nebraska: Lincoln
> Civilian adults who have served in the military: 6.1% (Nebraska: 7.9%)
> Veterans who first enlisted after 9/11: 14.2% (Nebraska: 13.1%)
> Veterans who served in the Vietnam Era only: 35.0% (Nebraska: 32.4%)
> Veterans who served during the Korean War only: 6.8% (Nebraska: 7.9%)
> No. of metros considered in ranking: 3

Nevada: Las Vegas-Henderson-Paradise
> Civilian adults who have served in the military: 8.2% (Nevada: 8.8%)
> Veterans who first enlisted after 9/11: 14.6% (Nevada: 13.5%)
> Veterans who served in the Vietnam Era only: 30.4% (Nevada: 32.6%)
> Veterans who served during the Korean War only: 5.0% (Nevada: 5.3%)
> No. of metros considered in ranking: 3

New Hampshire: Manchester-Nashua
> Civilian adults who have served in the military: 7.9% (New Hampshire: 8.5%)
> Veterans who first enlisted after 9/11: 10.6% (New Hampshire: 9.9%)
> Veterans who served in the Vietnam Era only: 32.9% (New Hampshire: 34.4%)
> Veterans who served during the Korean War only: 7.0% (New Hampshire: 7.0%)
> No. of metros considered in ranking: 1

*Because Manchester-Nashua is the only eligible metro in New Hampshire, it is the metro with the fewest veterans by default.

[in-text-ad-2]

New Jersey: Trenton-Princeton
> Civilian adults who have served in the military: 4.2% (New Jersey: 4.5%)
> Veterans who first enlisted after 9/11: 11.3% (New Jersey: 10.8%)
> Veterans who served in the Vietnam Era only: 33.3% (New Jersey: 35.3%)
> Veterans who served during the Korean War only: 9.6% (New Jersey: 10.5%)
> No. of metros considered in ranking: 4

New Mexico: Santa Fe
> Civilian adults who have served in the military: 7.5% (New Mexico: 8.8%)
> Veterans who first enlisted after 9/11: 7.1% (New Mexico: 13.0%)
> Veterans who served in the Vietnam Era only: 42.2% (New Mexico: 34.2%)
> Veterans who served during the Korean War only: 7.1% (New Mexico: 6.2%)
> No. of metros considered in ranking: 4

[in-text-ad]

New York: New York-Newark-Jersey City
> Civilian adults who have served in the military: 3.2% (New York: 4.4%)
> Veterans who first enlisted after 9/11: 11.4% (New York: 11.6%)
> Veterans who served in the Vietnam Era only: 33.5% (New York: 33.5%)
> Veterans who served during the Korean War only: 11.7% (New York: 9.7%)
> No. of metros considered in ranking: 13

North Carolina: Durham-Chapel Hill
> Civilian adults who have served in the military: 5.9% (North Carolina: 8.2%)
> Veterans who first enlisted after 9/11: 12.6% (North Carolina: 14.9%)
> Veterans who served in the Vietnam Era only: 30.3% (North Carolina: 30.7%)
> Veterans who served during the Korean War only: 6.1% (North Carolina: 5.2%)
> No. of metros considered in ranking: 15

North Dakota: Fargo
> Civilian adults who have served in the military: 6.3% (North Dakota: 8.0%)
> Veterans who first enlisted after 9/11: 19.8% (North Dakota: 18.2%)
> Veterans who served in the Vietnam Era only: 35.7% (North Dakota: 31.1%)
> Veterans who served during the Korean War only: 5.8% (North Dakota: 6.2%)
> No. of metros considered in ranking: 3

[in-text-ad-2]

Ohio: Columbus
> Civilian adults who have served in the military: 6.8% (Ohio: 7.6%)
> Veterans who first enlisted after 9/11: 14.2% (Ohio: 11.1%)
> Veterans who served in the Vietnam Era only: 31.2% (Ohio: 34.5%)
> Veterans who served during the Korean War only: 5.8% (Ohio: 6.9%)
> No. of metros considered in ranking: 11

Oklahoma: Tulsa
> Civilian adults who have served in the military: 8.2% (Oklahoma: 9.0%)
> Veterans who first enlisted after 9/11: 13.1% (Oklahoma: 14.9%)
> Veterans who served in the Vietnam Era only: 35.6% (Oklahoma: 33.7%)
> Veterans who served during the Korean War only: 5.5% (Oklahoma: 5.6%)
> No. of metros considered in ranking: 4

[in-text-ad]

Oregon: Corvallis
> Civilian adults who have served in the military: 6.3% (Oregon: 8.3%)
> Veterans who first enlisted after 9/11: 15.8% (Oregon: 11.8%)
> Veterans who served in the Vietnam Era only: 33.3% (Oregon: 36.3%)
> Veterans who served during the Korean War only: 9.1% (Oregon: 7.1%)
> No. of metros considered in ranking: 8

Pennsylvania: State College
> Civilian adults who have served in the military: 5.7% (Pennsylvania: 7.2%)
> Veterans who first enlisted after 9/11: 12.8% (Pennsylvania: 10.3%)
> Veterans who served in the Vietnam Era only: 34.6% (Pennsylvania: 35.0%)
> Veterans who served during the Korean War only: 7.1% (Pennsylvania: 8.6%)
> No. of metros considered in ranking: 18

Rhode Island: Providence-Warwick
> Civilian adults who have served in the military: 6.2% (Rhode Island: 6.1%)
> Veterans who first enlisted after 9/11: 10.8% (Rhode Island: 11.7%)
> Veterans who served in the Vietnam Era only: 35.4% (Rhode Island: 35.5%)
> Veterans who served during the Korean War only: 9.2% (Rhode Island: 9.0%)
> No. of metros considered in ranking: 1

*Because Providence-Warwick is the only eligible metro in Rhode Island, it is the metro with the fewest veterans by default.

[in-text-ad-2]

South Carolina: Greenville-Anderson
> Civilian adults who have served in the military: 7.5% (South Carolina: 9.1%)
> Veterans who first enlisted after 9/11: 12.3% (South Carolina: 13.3%)
> Veterans who served in the Vietnam Era only: 33.8% (South Carolina: 32.7%)
> Veterans who served during the Korean War only: 5.4% (South Carolina: 4.7%)
> No. of metros considered in ranking: 8

South Dakota: Sioux Falls
> Civilian adults who have served in the military: 7.2% (South Dakota: 8.5%)
> Veterans who first enlisted after 9/11: 14.7% (South Dakota: 13.4%)
> Veterans who served in the Vietnam Era only: 35.7% (South Dakota: 34.1%)
> Veterans who served during the Korean War only: 5.4% (South Dakota: 7.8%)
> No. of metros considered in ranking: 2

[in-text-ad]

Tennessee: Nashville-Davidson-Murfreesboro-Franklin
> Civilian adults who have served in the military: 6.7% (Tennessee: 8.2%)
> Veterans who first enlisted after 9/11: 15.9% (Tennessee: 13.6%)
> Veterans who served in the Vietnam Era only: 31.8% (Tennessee: 33.2%)
> Veterans who served during the Korean War only: 5.5% (Tennessee: 5.5%)
> No. of metros considered in ranking: 10

Texas: Laredo
> Civilian adults who have served in the military: 3.0% (Texas: 6.8%)
> Veterans who first enlisted after 9/11: 15.5% (Texas: 18.1%)
> Veterans who served in the Vietnam Era only: 31.1% (Texas: 29.1%)
> Veterans who served during the Korean War only: 12.9% (Texas: 4.7%)
> No. of metros considered in ranking: 25

Utah: Provo-Orem
> Civilian adults who have served in the military: 3.7% (Utah: 5.4%)
> Veterans who first enlisted after 9/11: 19.1% (Utah: 16.4%)
> Veterans who served in the Vietnam Era only: 27.9% (Utah: 31.5%)
> Veterans who served during the Korean War only: 7.1% (Utah: 6.8%)
> No. of metros considered in ranking: 5

[in-text-ad-2]

Vermont: Burlington-South Burlington
> Civilian adults who have served in the military: 5.9% (Vermont: 6.9%)
> Veterans who first enlisted after 9/11: 14.6% (Vermont: 9.5%)
> Veterans who served in the Vietnam Era only: 30.3% (Vermont: 36.8%)
> Veterans who served during the Korean War only: 8.1% (Vermont: 7.7%)
> No. of metros considered in ranking: 1

*Because Burlington-South Burlington is the only eligible metro in Vermont, it is the metro with the fewest veterans by default.

Virginia: Harrisonburg
> Civilian adults who have served in the military: 5.1% (Virginia: 10.3%)
> Veterans who first enlisted after 9/11: 15.7% (Virginia: 17.0%)
> Veterans who served in the Vietnam Era only: 33.1% (Virginia: 24.4%)
> Veterans who served during the Korean War only: 7.6% (Virginia: 4.0%)
> No. of metros considered in ranking: 9

[in-text-ad]

Washington: Yakima
> Civilian adults who have served in the military: 6.1% (Washington: 8.9%)
> Veterans who first enlisted after 9/11: 9.2% (Washington: 14.8%)
> Veterans who served in the Vietnam Era only: 36.8% (Washington: 32.1%)
> Veterans who served during the Korean War only: 6.0% (Washington: 5.0%)
> No. of metros considered in ranking: 11

West Virginia: Morgantown
> Civilian adults who have served in the military: 6.2% (West Virginia: 8.7%)
> Veterans who first enlisted after 9/11: 13.8% (West Virginia: 10.3%)
> Veterans who served in the Vietnam Era only: 37.3% (West Virginia: 37.3%)
> Veterans who served during the Korean War only: 5.4% (West Virginia: 6.8%)
> No. of metros considered in ranking: 7

Wisconsin: Madison
> Civilian adults who have served in the military: 5.7% (Wisconsin: 7.0%)
> Veterans who first enlisted after 9/11: 12.4% (Wisconsin: 11.1%)
> Veterans who served in the Vietnam Era only: 34.6% (Wisconsin: 35.3%)
> Veterans who served during the Korean War only: 7.1% (Wisconsin: 8.2%)
> No. of metros considered in ranking: 12

[in-text-ad-2]

Wyoming: Casper
> Civilian adults who have served in the military: 9.0% (Wyoming: 10.0%)
> Veterans who first enlisted after 9/11: 17.3% (Wyoming: 14.2%)
> Veterans who served in the Vietnam Era only: 33.0% (Wyoming: 35.2%)
> Veterans who served during the Korean War only: 5.2% (Wyoming: 5.5%)
> No. of metros considered in ranking: 2

Methodology 

To determine the metro area in every state with the fewest veterans, 24/7 Wall St. reviewed five-year estimates of the share of the civilian population 18 years and over who are veterans from the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2020 American Community Survey.

We used the 384 metropolitan statistical areas as delineated by the United States Office of Management and Budget and used by the Census Bureau as our definition of metros.

Metro areas were ranked based on the share of the population 18 and over who are veterans. To break ties, we used the number of veterans.

Additional information on the share of veterans who served after 9/11, in the Vietnam Era, and during the Korean War are also five-year estimates from the 2020 ACS. Because the Census Bureau didn’t release one-year estimates for 2020 due to data collection issues caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, all ACS data are five-year estimates.

The Modern Investment App For a Richer Tomorrow (Sponsored)

Robinhood set out to democratize investing to individuals, and it’s not slowing down. The app makes it possible to buy and sell stocks, mutual funds, trade options, and even cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin (BTC) and Ethereum (ETH).

With FDIC insurance ,an award winning design, and benefits like IRAs and more, Robinhood could be your path to a richer tomorrow.

Sign up today using the link below or click here to start your journey.

Thank you for reading! Have some feedback for us?
Contact the 24/7 Wall St. editorial team.