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RAND Veterans Policy Research Institute

Trends in U.S. Veteran Demographics

Veteran Population Size

Nationally, the overall number of veterans has been steadily declining.

=
2007
22,916,819
2019
17,411,251

Changing Veteran Demographics

The population of post-9/11 veterans is younger, more diverse (in terms of sex and race/ethnicity), and more educated than earlier cohorts of veterans.

  Average age Hispanic Black Multiracial/other White Female College degree
Post-9/11 39 13% 15% 7% 65% 17% 35%
Pre-9/11 68 6% 11% 4% 79% 7% 28%

NOTE: Post-9/11 refers to veterans who served after the 9/11 terrorist attacks. Pre-9/11 refers to veterans who served exclusively prior to 9/11.

State of Residence

The largest populations of veterans reside in states with numerous military bases, including Texas, California, and Florida. States with the highest proportions of veterans include Western states and Virginia.

States with the largest populations of veteran residents

California
1,530,950
Texas
1,524,581
Ohio
708,965
Pennsylvania
799,031
Florida
1,311,355

States with the highest percentages of veteran residents

Alaska
10.9%
Montana
10.1%
Virginia
10.0%
Wyoming
9.5%
Idaho
9.2%

SOURCE: Features information from American Community Survey Public Use Microdata Sample 1-year files, 2019 and 2007.

This infographic describes work done in RAND Education and Labor and documented in A Summary of Veteran-Related Statistics, by Eric Robinson, Justin W. Lee, Teague Ruder, Megan S. Schuler, Gilad Wenig, Carrie M. Farmer, Jessica Phillips, and Rajeev Ramchand, RR-A1363-5, 2023 (available at www.rand.org/t/RRA1363-5). To view this infographic online, visit www.rand.org/t/IGA1363-2

© 2023 RAND Corporation

IG-A1363-2

Research conducted by

Funding for this publication was made possible by a generous gift from Daniel J. Epstein through the Epstein Family Foundation. The research was conducted by the RAND Epstein Family Veterans Policy Research Institute within RAND Education and Labor.

This report is part of the RAND infographic series. RAND infographics are design-focused, visual representations of data and information based on a published, peer-reviewed product or a body of published work.

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