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U.S. Veteran Facts and Statistics

Outline: U.S. Census Bureau facts and statistics relating to United States Veterans.

Main Digest

Total Veterans

The number of military veterans in the United States in 2008 - 23.2 million
Source: Table 508, Upcoming Statistical Abstract of the United States: 2010

Female Veterans

The number of female veterans in 2008 - 1.8 million
Source: Table 508, Upcoming Statistical Abstract of the United States: 2010

Race and Hispanic Origin

The number of black veterans in 2008 - 2.3 million. Additionally, 1.1 million veterans were Hispanic; 276,000 were Asian; 160,000 were American Indian or Alaska Native; 27,000 were Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander; and 18.3 million were non-Hispanic white. (The numbers for blacks, Asians, American Indians and Alaska Natives, Native Hawaiians and Other Pacific Islanders, and non-Hispanic whites cover only those reporting a single race.)
Source: 2008 American Community Survey

When They Served

The number of veterans 65 and older in 2008 - 9.2 million. At the other end of the age spectrum, 1.9 million were younger than 35.
Source: U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, unpublished data

Number of Vietnam-era veterans in 2008 - 7.8 million. Thirty-three percent of all living veterans served during this time (1964-1975). In addition, 5.2 million served during the Gulf War (representing service from Aug. 2, 1990, to present); 2.6 million in World War II (1941-1945); 2.8 million in the Korean War (1950-1953); and 6 million in peacetime.
Source: U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, unpublished data

Number of living veterans in 2008 who served during the Vietnam Era and both Gulf War eras - 50,000

Other living veterans in 2008 who served during three wars - 92,000 served during World War II, the Korean War and the Vietnam Era.

Living veterans in 2008 who served during two wars

Source: 2008 American Community Survey

Where They Live

5 states with 1 million or more veterans in 2008. These states were;

Source: Table 508, Upcoming Statistical Abstract of the United States: 2010

Education

Percent of veterans 25 and older with at least a bachelor's degree in 2008 - 26%
Source: 2008 American Community Survey

Percent of veterans 25 and older with a high school diploma or higher in 2008 - 91%
Source: 2008 American Community Survey

Income

Annual median income of veterans, in 2008 inflation-adjusted dollars - $36,779
Source: 2008 American Community Survey

On the Job

Number of veterans 18 to 64 in the labor force in 2008 - 10.4 million
Source: 2008 American Community Survey

Disabilities

Number of veterans with any type of disability in 2008 - 5.5 million
Source: 2008 American Community Survey

Service-Connected Disability Ratings

Number of veterans with a service-connected disability rating - 3.4 million. Of this number, 588,000 have a rating of 70 percent or higher.
Source: 2008 American Community Survey

Voting

Number of veterans who voted in the 2008 presidential election - 15.8 million. Seventy-one percent of veterans cast a ballot, compared with 63 percent of nonveterans.
Source: Voting and Registration in the Election of November 2008.

Business Owners

Percentage of owners of firms responding to the 2002 Survey of Business Owners who were veterans - 14.5%. Veteran business owners comprised an estimated 3 million of the 20.5 million owners represented by survey respondents.
Source: Characteristics of Veteran-Owned Businesses: 2002

Percentage of veteran owners of respondent firms who were 55 and older - 68%. This compares with 31 percent of all owners of respondent firms. Similarly, in 2002, 55 percent of veteran-owned respondent firms with employees reported that their businesses were originally established, purchased or acquired before 1990, compared with 36 percent of all employer respondent firms.
Source: Characteristics of Veteran-Owned Businesses: 2002 and Characteristics of Veteran Business Owners: 2002

Percentage of veteran business owners of respondent firms who were disabled as the result of injury incurred or aggravated during active military service - 7%.
Source: Characteristics of Veteran-Owned Businesses: 2002 and Characteristics of Veteran Business Owners: 2002

Benefits

Number of veterans who received compensation for service-connected disabilities as of 2008 - 2.9 million. Their compensation totaled $36.2 billion.
Source: Tables 511 and 512, Upcoming Statistical Abstract of the United States: 2010

Total amount of federal government spending for veterans benefits programs in fiscal year 2008 - $84.4 billion. Of this total, $40.2 billion went to compensation and pensions, $37.9 billion for medical programs and the remainder to other programs, such as vocational rehabilitation and education.
Source: Table 511, Upcoming Statistical Abstract of the United States: 2010

The preceding data was collected from a variety of sources and may be subject to sampling variability and other sources of error.

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