Special Report

The Best Cities For Veterans

Veterans Day recently came and left with the usual gestures of appreciation from the public, lawmakers, and companies who offer freebies to active and former members of the uniformed armed services. There are, however, far more substantive and perennial publicly funded services for the veterans who served their country.

All veterans are entitled to certain benefits, but there are state-specific, even city-specific benefits veterans can be entitled to. Some cities may not offer specific benefits, but they have a large community of vets, have more jobs that could be suitable for veterans, or offer more health services. (These are 13 benefits every veteran is entitled to.)

To find the best cities for veterans, 24/7 Wall St. reviewed data blog Lawnstarter’s report 2023’s Best Cities for Veterans, which ranked the 200 largest U.S. cities by the quality of life of veterans, based on a weighted index of 38 metrics grouped into nine categories: community, support, medical health care, mental health care, housing, education and training, employment and volunteering, affordability, and safety. We listed the 24 cities with an overall score of 30 or higher, with #1 on the list being the best city for veterans. Veteran population figures came from the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2020 five-year population estimates. 

About 364,000 of the country’s estimated 17.8 million veterans live in 24 cities offering the best support for veterans.

An important factor in determining the best cities for veterans is ease of access to services provided under the Department Veterans Affairs. The VA had a $336 billion budget in the 2022 fiscal year to provide medical care, disability compensation, pensions, employment services, assistance to homeless veterans, home-loan guarantees, death benefits, and other services. The numbers of benefit centers or benefit claims assistance were two measures considered.

Other than access to VA facilities, these cities tend to rank high in nonprofit veterans support organizations, housing affordability, and employment or educational opportunities.

These cities are distributed across 19 states, from Massachusetts to Washington and includes the District of Columbia. Florida, New York, and Texas, each have two cities on the list. Providence, Rhode Island, and Salt Lake City rank the highest while Murfreesboro, Tennessee, and Buffalo, New York, are at the bottom. (Here are states with the best benefits for veterans.)

Here are the best cities for veterans.

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