Special Report

States With The Most Veterans: All 50 States Ranked

Bastiaan Slabbers / iStock Unreleased via Getty Images

The debt ceiling deal, struck between the Biden administration and Republicans in Congress only days before the June 5, 2023, default deadline, will provide $121 billion in veteran medical funding for fiscal 2024. The deal also includes $20 billion in compensation funding for American troops impacted by exposure to the military’s toxic burn pit sites in Iraq and other places. The money is much needed as veterans may be disproportionately impacted by certain medical conditions as well as economic pressures.

As a group, former service men and women are at greater risk of mental health disorders, substance abuse problems, homelessness, and suicide than civilians of the same age group who are veterans. This is no coincidence, as life in the military can take a profound mental and physical toll, particularly on those exposed to combat.

There are 16.5 million military veterans living in the United States today, down from 26.4 million in 2000. The decline is primarily attributable to the aging of the generations that enlisted during some of the country’s largest military mobilizations, namely, Vietnam and World War II. (These are the states with the most living WWII veterans.)

Military veterans constitute 6.4% of the civilian adult population in the United States, but in some parts of the country, the share is far higher. 

Using data from the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2021 American Community Survey, 24/7 Wall St. identified the states where the most veterans live. States are ranked by the share of veterans of the 18 and older population.

Across the 50 states, veterans account for anywhere from 3.9% to 11.0% of the adult population. Nationwide, the largest share of living veterans, at 31.9%, served in the Vietnam War, a conflict that saw 2.2 million Americans conscripted into service. 

The second largest share of veterans enlisted into the service after the terror attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. This group is more likely to have experienced combat than veterans from other eras, and partially as a result, they are more likely to suffer from post-traumatic stress and struggle readjusting to civilian life. (Here is a look at the best cities for veterans.)

Click here to see the states with the most veterans.

50. New York
> Civilian adults who have served in the military: 3.9% (614,289 total)
> Veterans who first enlisted after 9/11: 13.5% – 11th lowest (83,044 total)
> Veterans who served in the Vietnam era only: 34.1% – 18th highest (209,367 total)
> Veterans who served in the Korean War era only: 6.6% – 3rd highest (40,419 total)
> Veterans who served in the WWII era only: 1.5% – 6th highest (9,075 total)

[in-text-ad]

49. New Jersey
> Civilian adults who have served in the military: 3.9% (283,485 total)
> Veterans who first enlisted after 9/11: 13.7% – 14th lowest (38,933 total)
> Veterans who served in the Vietnam era only: 34.4% – 16th highest (97,404 total)
> Veterans who served in the Korean War era only: 7.1% – 2nd highest (20,232 total)
> Veterans who served in the WWII era only: 1.7% – 5th highest (4,772 total)

48. Massachusetts
> Civilian adults who have served in the military: 4.2% (238,039 total)
> Veterans who first enlisted after 9/11: 12.4% – 2nd lowest (29,592 total)
> Veterans who served in the Vietnam era only: 35.8% – 11th highest (85,142 total)
> Veterans who served in the Korean War era only: 7.5% – the highest (17,769 total)
> Veterans who served in the WWII era only: 2.3% – 2nd highest (5,561 total)

47. California
> Civilian adults who have served in the military: 4.4% (1,342,337 total)
> Veterans who first enlisted after 9/11: 17.9% – 13th highest (240,019 total)
> Veterans who served in the Vietnam era only: 32.6% – 24th lowest (437,827 total)
> Veterans who served in the Korean War era only: 5.1% – 13th highest (68,030 total)
> Veterans who served in the WWII era only: 1.2% – 12th highest (15,903 total)

[in-text-ad-2]

46. Utah
> Civilian adults who have served in the military: 4.8% (114,803 total)
> Veterans who first enlisted after 9/11: 18.2% – 10th highest (20,944 total)
> Veterans who served in the Vietnam era only: 29.5% – 6th lowest (33,828 total)
> Veterans who served in the Korean War era only: 5.3% – 10th highest (6,092 total)
> Veterans who served in the WWII era only: 1.1% – 13th highest (1,305 total)

45. Connecticut
> Civilian adults who have served in the military: 4.9% (140,684 total)
> Veterans who first enlisted after 9/11: 13.8% – 16th lowest (19,435 total)
> Veterans who served in the Vietnam era only: 35.2% – 13th highest (49,476 total)
> Veterans who served in the Korean War era only: 6.0% – 7th highest (8,481 total)
> Veterans who served in the WWII era only: 2.0% – 3rd highest (2,773 total)

[in-text-ad]

44. Illinois
> Civilian adults who have served in the military: 5.0% (496,352 total)
> Veterans who first enlisted after 9/11: 14.6% – 20th lowest (72,502 total)
> Veterans who served in the Vietnam era only: 35.1% – 14th highest (174,313 total)
> Veterans who served in the Korean War era only: 5.0% – 16th highest (24,759 total)
> Veterans who served in the WWII era only: 1.3% – 11th highest (6,211 total)

43. Rhode Island
> Civilian adults who have served in the military: 5.6% (49,206 total)
> Veterans who first enlisted after 9/11: 14.6% – 21st lowest (7,203 total)
> Veterans who served in the Vietnam era only: 33.8% – 21st highest (16,640 total)
> Veterans who served in the Korean War era only: 6.3% – 4th highest (3,108 total)
> Veterans who served in the WWII era only: 2.6% – the highest (1,277 total)

42. Michigan
> Civilian adults who have served in the military: 6.0% (474,645 total)
> Veterans who first enlisted after 9/11: 13.5% – 10th lowest (64,005 total)
> Veterans who served in the Vietnam era only: 36.3% – 6th highest (172,374 total)
> Veterans who served in the Korean War era only: 5.2% – 11th highest (24,878 total)
> Veterans who served in the WWII era only: 1.1% – 15th highest (5,155 total)

[in-text-ad-2]

41. Minnesota
> Civilian adults who have served in the military: 6.1% (265,920 total)
> Veterans who first enlisted after 9/11: 13.8% – 15th lowest (36,730 total)
> Veterans who served in the Vietnam era only: 36.7% – 4th highest (97,560 total)
> Veterans who served in the Korean War era only: 6.2% – 6th highest (16,565 total)
> Veterans who served in the WWII era only: 1.4% – 9th highest (3,594 total)

40. Vermont
> Civilian adults who have served in the military: 6.1% (31,971 total)
> Veterans who first enlisted after 9/11: 12.3% – the lowest (3,927 total)
> Veterans who served in the Vietnam era only: 36.7% – 5th highest (11,724 total)
> Veterans who served in the Korean War era only: 5.8% – 8th highest (1,858 total)
> Veterans who served in the WWII era only: 1.5% – 7th highest (464 total)

[in-text-ad]

39. Pennsylvania
> Civilian adults who have served in the military: 6.2% (641,525 total)
> Veterans who first enlisted after 9/11: 13.1% – 5th lowest (84,157 total)
> Veterans who served in the Vietnam era only: 35.9% – 10th highest (230,448 total)
> Veterans who served in the Korean War era only: 6.3% – 5th highest (40,173 total)
> Veterans who served in the WWII era only: 1.4% – 8th highest (8,738 total)

38. Louisiana
> Civilian adults who have served in the military: 6.3% (221,316 total)
> Veterans who first enlisted after 9/11: 15.6% – 25th highest (34,591 total)
> Veterans who served in the Vietnam era only: 31.2% – 14th lowest (69,132 total)
> Veterans who served in the Korean War era only: 3.1% – 8th lowest (6,921 total)
> Veterans who served in the WWII era only: 0.9% – 25th highest (2,026 total)

37. Texas
> Civilian adults who have served in the military: 6.4% (1,408,464 total)
> Veterans who first enlisted after 9/11: 21.7% – 3rd highest (305,658 total)
> Veterans who served in the Vietnam era only: 27.2% – 5th lowest (383,587 total)
> Veterans who served in the Korean War era only: 2.9% – 4th lowest (40,289 total)
> Veterans who served in the WWII era only: 0.6% – 12th lowest (8,709 total)

[in-text-ad-2]

36. Indiana
> Civilian adults who have served in the military: 6.4% (335,248 total)
> Veterans who first enlisted after 9/11: 14.3% – 18th lowest (47,978 total)
> Veterans who served in the Vietnam era only: 33.5% – 23rd highest (112,184 total)
> Veterans who served in the Korean War era only: 5.0% – 15th highest (16,728 total)
> Veterans who served in the WWII era only: 1.0% – 20th highest (3,394 total)

35. Wisconsin
> Civilian adults who have served in the military: 6.6% (303,641 total)
> Veterans who first enlisted after 9/11: 13.5% – 12th lowest (41,114 total)
> Veterans who served in the Vietnam era only: 35.2% – 12th highest (106,931 total)
> Veterans who served in the Korean War era only: 5.3% – 9th highest (16,243 total)
> Veterans who served in the WWII era only: 1.0% – 21st highest (3,044 total)

[in-text-ad]

34. Iowa
> Civilian adults who have served in the military: 6.6% (162,358 total)
> Veterans who first enlisted after 9/11: 14.5% – 19th lowest (23,601 total)
> Veterans who served in the Vietnam era only: 35.9% – 9th highest (58,367 total)
> Veterans who served in the Korean War era only: 5.2% – 12th highest (8,456 total)
> Veterans who served in the WWII era only: 1.7% – 4th highest (2,789 total)

33. Kansas
> Civilian adults who have served in the military: 6.7% (147,721 total)
> Veterans who first enlisted after 9/11: 16.4% – 20th highest (24,168 total)
> Veterans who served in the Vietnam era only: 33.7% – 22nd highest (49,755 total)
> Veterans who served in the Korean War era only: 4.3% – 24th highest (6,316 total)
> Veterans who served in the WWII era only: 1.1% – 17th highest (1,552 total)

32. Ohio
> Civilian adults who have served in the military: 6.8% (621,890 total)
> Veterans who first enlisted after 9/11: 14.2% – 17th lowest (88,072 total)
> Veterans who served in the Vietnam era only: 34.4% – 15th highest (213,685 total)
> Veterans who served in the Korean War era only: 4.8% – 18th highest (29,950 total)
> Veterans who served in the WWII era only: 1.1% – 14th highest (6,833 total)

[in-text-ad-2]

31. Kentucky
> Civilian adults who have served in the military: 6.8% (237,597 total)
> Veterans who first enlisted after 9/11: 15.1% – 24th lowest (35,926 total)
> Veterans who served in the Vietnam era only: 32.1% – 20th lowest (76,375 total)
> Veterans who served in the Korean War era only: 4.2% – 24th lowest (9,887 total)
> Veterans who served in the WWII era only: 1.0% – 19th highest (2,443 total)

30. North Dakota
> Civilian adults who have served in the military: 6.9% (40,250 total)
> Veterans who first enlisted after 9/11: 20.7% – 4th highest (8,342 total)
> Veterans who served in the Vietnam era only: 29.7% – 10th lowest (11,938 total)
> Veterans who served in the Korean War era only: 4.2% – 25th lowest (1,681 total)
> Veterans who served in the WWII era only: 0.5% – 6th lowest (196 total)

[in-text-ad]

29. Mississippi
> Civilian adults who have served in the military: 6.9% (155,272 total)
> Veterans who first enlisted after 9/11: 16.2% – 22nd highest (25,115 total)
> Veterans who served in the Vietnam era only: 29.6% – 9th lowest (46,031 total)
> Veterans who served in the Korean War era only: 2.9% – 5th lowest (4,454 total)
> Veterans who served in the WWII era only: 0.6% – 8th lowest (862 total)

28. Maryland
> Civilian adults who have served in the military: 7.0% (332,591 total)
> Veterans who first enlisted after 9/11: 19.0% – 8th highest (63,154 total)
> Veterans who served in the Vietnam era only: 26.2% – 2nd lowest (87,167 total)
> Veterans who served in the Korean War era only: 3.7% – 20th lowest (12,424 total)
> Veterans who served in the WWII era only: 0.8% – 21st lowest (2,560 total)

27. Delaware
> Civilian adults who have served in the military: 7.0% (55,516 total)
> Veterans who first enlisted after 9/11: 15.9% – 23rd highest (8,842 total)
> Veterans who served in the Vietnam era only: 38.7% – 2nd highest (21,470 total)
> Veterans who served in the Korean War era only: 4.3% – 23rd highest (2,374 total)
> Veterans who served in the WWII era only: 1.0% – 23rd highest (530 total)

[in-text-ad-2]

26. Georgia
> Civilian adults who have served in the military: 7.3% (595,743 total)
> Veterans who first enlisted after 9/11: 18.7% – 9th highest (111,549 total)
> Veterans who served in the Vietnam era only: 26.9% – 3rd lowest (160,027 total)
> Veterans who served in the Korean War era only: 2.9% – 6th lowest (17,278 total)
> Veterans who served in the WWII era only: 0.6% – 9th lowest (3,438 total)

25. Tennessee
> Civilian adults who have served in the military: 7.3% (394,604 total)
> Veterans who first enlisted after 9/11: 16.6% – 19th highest (65,537 total)
> Veterans who served in the Vietnam era only: 32.4% – 22nd lowest (127,954 total)
> Veterans who served in the Korean War era only: 3.4% – 13th lowest (13,376 total)
> Veterans who served in the WWII era only: 0.6% – 7th lowest (2,183 total)

[in-text-ad]

24. Nebraska
> Civilian adults who have served in the military: 7.4% (109,225 total)
> Veterans who first enlisted after 9/11: 15.8% – 24th highest (17,256 total)
> Veterans who served in the Vietnam era only: 31.1% – 13th lowest (33,984 total)
> Veterans who served in the Korean War era only: 5.0% – 14th highest (5,489 total)
> Veterans who served in the WWII era only: 0.6% – 15th lowest (699 total)

23. Missouri
> Civilian adults who have served in the military: 7.5% (355,424 total)
> Veterans who first enlisted after 9/11: 13.4% – 9th lowest (47,486 total)
> Veterans who served in the Vietnam era only: 36.2% – 7th highest (128,791 total)
> Veterans who served in the Korean War era only: 4.6% – 20th highest (16,274 total)
> Veterans who served in the WWII era only: 1.1% – 16th highest (3,848 total)

22. West Virginia
> Civilian adults who have served in the military: 7.6% (107,271 total)
> Veterans who first enlisted after 9/11: 13.3% – 8th lowest (14,299 total)
> Veterans who served in the Vietnam era only: 36.8% – 3rd highest (39,468 total)
> Veterans who served in the Korean War era only: 3.9% – 21st lowest (4,212 total)
> Veterans who served in the WWII era only: 0.6% – 16th lowest (692 total)

[in-text-ad-2]

21. North Carolina
> Civilian adults who have served in the military: 7.6% (615,452 total)
> Veterans who first enlisted after 9/11: 17.2% – 17th highest (105,996 total)
> Veterans who served in the Vietnam era only: 29.6% – 8th lowest (181,953 total)
> Veterans who served in the Korean War era only: 3.1% – 7th lowest (18,939 total)
> Veterans who served in the WWII era only: 0.8% – 20th lowest (4,673 total)

20. Arkansas
> Civilian adults who have served in the military: 7.7% (177,176 total)
> Veterans who first enlisted after 9/11: 16.7% – 18th highest (29,584 total)
> Veterans who served in the Vietnam era only: 34.0% – 19th highest (60,314 total)
> Veterans who served in the Korean War era only: 3.7% – 18th lowest (6,548 total)
> Veterans who served in the WWII era only: 0.7% – 18th lowest (1,299 total)

[in-text-ad]

19. Oregon
> Civilian adults who have served in the military: 7.7% (259,207 total)
> Veterans who first enlisted after 9/11: 14.8% – 22nd lowest (38,349 total)
> Veterans who served in the Vietnam era only: 36.2% – 8th highest (93,807 total)
> Veterans who served in the Korean War era only: 4.4% – 22nd highest (11,481 total)
> Veterans who served in the WWII era only: 1.0% – 22nd highest (2,598 total)

18. Colorado
> Civilian adults who have served in the military: 7.7% (348,485 total)
> Veterans who first enlisted after 9/11: 19.9% – 6th highest (69,293 total)
> Veterans who served in the Vietnam era only: 29.7% – 11th lowest (103,510 total)
> Veterans who served in the Korean War era only: 3.6% – 17th lowest (12,522 total)
> Veterans who served in the WWII era only: 0.7% – 19th lowest (2,602 total)

17. New Hampshire
> Civilian adults who have served in the military: 7.8% (87,604 total)
> Veterans who first enlisted after 9/11: 13.3% – 7th lowest (11,622 total)
> Veterans who served in the Vietnam era only: 31.7% – 17th lowest (27,741 total)
> Veterans who served in the Korean War era only: 4.2% – 25th highest (3,692 total)
> Veterans who served in the WWII era only: 0.4% – 5th lowest (382 total)

[in-text-ad-2]

16. Florida
> Civilian adults who have served in the military: 7.8% (1,356,882 total)
> Veterans who first enlisted after 9/11: 13.7% – 13th lowest (186,059 total)
> Veterans who served in the Vietnam era only: 31.7% – 16th lowest (429,654 total)
> Veterans who served in the Korean War era only: 4.9% – 17th highest (66,188 total)
> Veterans who served in the WWII era only: 1.3% – 10th highest (16,991 total)

15. New Mexico
> Civilian adults who have served in the military: 7.9% (128,924 total)
> Veterans who first enlisted after 9/11: 13.1% – 4th lowest (16,841 total)
> Veterans who served in the Vietnam era only: 33.0% – 25th lowest (42,507 total)
> Veterans who served in the Korean War era only: 3.7% – 19th lowest (4,770 total)
> Veterans who served in the WWII era only: 0.9% – 24th highest (1,183 total)

[in-text-ad]

14. Nevada
> Civilian adults who have served in the military: 7.9% (193,340 total)
> Veterans who first enlisted after 9/11: 17.4% – 16th highest (33,701 total)
> Veterans who served in the Vietnam era only: 32.4% – 21st lowest (62,652 total)
> Veterans who served in the Korean War era only: 3.6% – 15th lowest (6,881 total)
> Veterans who served in the WWII era only: 0.8% – 24th lowest (1,592 total)

13. Oklahoma
> Civilian adults who have served in the military: 8.0% (240,146 total)
> Veterans who first enlisted after 9/11: 17.9% – 11th highest (43,082 total)
> Veterans who served in the Vietnam era only: 31.8% – 19th lowest (76,279 total)
> Veterans who served in the Korean War era only: 3.2% – 10th lowest (7,676 total)
> Veterans who served in the WWII era only: 0.6% – 13th lowest (1,498 total)

12. Hawaii
> Civilian adults who have served in the military: 8.0% (87,357 total)
> Veterans who first enlisted after 9/11: 21.8% – 2nd highest (19,077 total)
> Veterans who served in the Vietnam era only: 31.7% – 18th lowest (27,679 total)
> Veterans who served in the Korean War era only: 4.1% – 23rd lowest (3,578 total)
> Veterans who served in the WWII era only: 1.0% – 18th highest (914 total)

[in-text-ad-2]

11. Arizona
> Civilian adults who have served in the military: 8.1% (454,375 total)
> Veterans who first enlisted after 9/11: 17.5% – 15th highest (79,707 total)
> Veterans who served in the Vietnam era only: 33.4% – 25th highest (151,545 total)
> Veterans who served in the Korean War era only: 4.0% – 22nd lowest (18,215 total)
> Veterans who served in the WWII era only: 0.8% – 22nd lowest (3,598 total)

10. Alabama
> Civilian adults who have served in the military: 8.1% (315,142 total)
> Veterans who first enlisted after 9/11: 15.1% – 23rd lowest (47,538 total)
> Veterans who served in the Vietnam era only: 29.5% – 7th lowest (92,922 total)
> Veterans who served in the Korean War era only: 3.3% – 12th lowest (10,471 total)
> Veterans who served in the WWII era only: 0.6% – 11th lowest (1,900 total)

[in-text-ad]

9. South Dakota
> Civilian adults who have served in the military: 8.1% (54,403 total)
> Veterans who first enlisted after 9/11: 15.5% – 25th lowest (8,420 total)
> Veterans who served in the Vietnam era only: 34.3% – 17th highest (18,678 total)
> Veterans who served in the Korean War era only: 3.4% – 14th lowest (1,849 total)
> Veterans who served in the WWII era only: 0.3% – the lowest (171 total)

8. Washington
> Civilian adults who have served in the military: 8.2% (490,717 total)
> Veterans who first enlisted after 9/11: 17.8% – 14th highest (87,287 total)
> Veterans who served in the Vietnam era only: 29.8% – 12th lowest (146,392 total)
> Veterans who served in the Korean War era only: 3.3% – 11th lowest (16,300 total)
> Veterans who served in the WWII era only: 0.9% – 25th lowest (4,242 total)

7. Idaho
> Civilian adults who have served in the military: 8.6% (122,331 total)
> Veterans who first enlisted after 9/11: 20.0% – 5th highest (24,452 total)
> Veterans who served in the Vietnam era only: 31.3% – 15th lowest (38,337 total)
> Veterans who served in the Korean War era only: 3.6% – 16th lowest (4,391 total)
> Veterans who served in the WWII era only: 0.6% – 10th lowest (719 total)

[in-text-ad-2]

6. South Carolina
> Civilian adults who have served in the military: 8.7% (353,056 total)
> Veterans who first enlisted after 9/11: 16.2% – 21st highest (57,319 total)
> Veterans who served in the Vietnam era only: 32.6% – 23rd lowest (115,083 total)
> Veterans who served in the Korean War era only: 3.1% – 9th lowest (11,091 total)
> Veterans who served in the WWII era only: 0.4% – 4th lowest (1,412 total)

5. Maine
> Civilian adults who have served in the military: 8.8% (98,703 total)
> Veterans who first enlisted after 9/11: 12.7% – 3rd lowest (12,525 total)
> Veterans who served in the Vietnam era only: 33.8% – 20th highest (33,388 total)
> Veterans who served in the Korean War era only: 4.6% – 19th highest (4,548 total)
> Veterans who served in the WWII era only: 0.8% – 23rd lowest (799 total)

[in-text-ad]

4. Wyoming
> Civilian adults who have served in the military: 9.2% (40,910 total)
> Veterans who first enlisted after 9/11: 13.2% – 6th lowest (5,411 total)
> Veterans who served in the Vietnam era only: 39.2% – the highest (16,056 total)
> Veterans who served in the Korean War era only: 2.8% – 3rd lowest (1,155 total)
> Veterans who served in the WWII era only: 0.7% – 17th lowest (297 total)

3. Montana
> Civilian adults who have served in the military: 9.4% (80,953 total)
> Veterans who first enlisted after 9/11: 17.9% – 12th highest (14,513 total)
> Veterans who served in the Vietnam era only: 33.4% – 24th highest (27,061 total)
> Veterans who served in the Korean War era only: 4.5% – 21st highest (3,618 total)
> Veterans who served in the WWII era only: 0.4% – 3rd lowest (297 total)

2. Virginia
> Civilian adults who have served in the military: 9.7% (641,144 total)
> Veterans who first enlisted after 9/11: 19.0% – 7th highest (122,036 total)
> Veterans who served in the Vietnam era only: 23.4% – the lowest (149,977 total)
> Veterans who served in the Korean War era only: 2.3% – the lowest (14,448 total)
> Veterans who served in the WWII era only: 0.6% – 14th lowest (4,053 total)

[in-text-ad-2]

1. Alaska
> Civilian adults who have served in the military: 11.0% (58,431 total)
> Veterans who first enlisted after 9/11: 24.0% – the highest (14,033 total)
> Veterans who served in the Vietnam era only: 27.1% – 4th lowest (15,820 total)
> Veterans who served in the Korean War era only: 2.5% – 2nd lowest (1,450 total)
> Veterans who served in the WWII era only: 0.3% – 2nd lowest (190 total)

Sponsored: Attention Savvy Investors: Speak to 3 Financial Experts – FREE

Ever wanted an extra set of eyes on an investment you’re considering? Now you can speak with up to 3 financial experts in your area for FREE. By simply clicking here you can begin to match with financial professionals who can help guide you through the financial decisions you’re making. And the best part? The first conversation with them is free.

Click here to match with up to 3 financial pros who would be excited to help you make financial decisions.

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