Special Report

States Where the Most Americans Serve in the Military


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 June 2021 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 “2019 Demographics Report,” compiled by Defense Department contractor Military OneSource. Total base personnel counts only include servicemen and servicewomen.

Per capita Department of Defense spending figures by state came from the Office of Local Defense Community Cooperation and are for fiscal 2019, the most recent available year.

Total state population are one-year estimates from the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2019 American Community Survey.

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