Veterans Day by the Numbers

On November 11, the U.S. celebrated Veterans Day, honoring the brave members of the armed forces. Here we break down the statistics about our nation’s veterans and the contributions they’ve made.


President Woodrow Wilson proclaimed the first Armistice Day for November 11, 1919. This eventually became Veterans Day, which was celebrated as it is today for the first time in 1947. Since then, the country has taken the annual opportunity to remember and thank the courageous men and women of the military, and honor the many sacrifices they’ve made.

Take a look at some of these fascinating statistics that show who our veterans are, where they come from and how they contribute to the health and success of the United States.

21.5 Million
Number of military veterans in the United States in 2011
Source: U.S. Census Bureau

5.5 Million
Number of veterans with any type of disability in 2008
Source: Ibid.

20 Million
Projected number of veterans by 2016
Source: Ibid.

15 Million
Projected number of veterans by 2032
Source: Ibid.

5.1 Million
Number of veterans living in California, Florida and Texas
Source: Ibid.

2.3 Million
Number of African-American veterans
Source: Ibid.

1.6 Million
Number of female veterans
Source: Ibid.

27,469
Number of Native Hawaiian or other Pacific Islander veterans
Source: Ibid.

9.2 million
Number of veterans 65 and older in 2011
Source: Ibid.

1.8 Million
Number of veterans 35 and younger
Source: Ibid.

5.1 Million
Number of veterans who served during the Gulf War, from Aug. 2, 1990 on, alive in 2011
Source: Ibid.

129,972
Number of veterans who served during both World War II and the Korean War
Source: Ibid.

73,681
Number of U.S. service members who went missing in action during World War II who remain unaccounted for
Source: CNN.com

3,459
Total number of recipients of the U.S. Medal of Honor, the highest honor for valor in action
Source: Ibid.

81
Number of living Medal of Honor recipients
Source: Ibid.

92.3%
Percentage of veterans 25 and older with a high school diploma or higher in 2011
Source: Ibid.

86%
Percentage of the population as a whole with a high school diploma or higher
Source: Ibid.

26.3%
Percentage of veterans 25 and older with at least a bachelor’s degree in 2011
Source: Ibid.

28.5%
Percentage of the total population with a bachelor’s degree or higher
Source: Ibid.

$35,821
Annual median income of veterans, in 2011 inflation-adjusted dollars
Source: Ibid.

$25,811
Annual median income for the population as a whole
Source: Ibid.

9.1 Million
Number of veterans aged 18 to 64 in the labor force in 2011
Source: Ibid.

9%
Percentage of all U.S. non-farm firms that are majority owned by veterans
Source: Ibid.

75%
Percentage of veteran owners of firms who were 55 or older in 2007
Source: Ibid.

37%
Percentage of all owners of firms who were 55 or older in 2007
Source: Ibid.

71%
Percentage of veterans who cast a ballot in the 2008 presidential election
Source: Ibid.

61%
Percentage of all eligible voters who cast a ballot in the 2008 presidential election
Source: Ibid.

$84.4 Billion
Total amount of federal government spending for veterans’ benefits programs in fiscal year 2008
Source: U.S. Census Bureau

$40.2 Billion
Total amount of federal government spending for veterans’ benefits programs in fiscal year 2008 that went to compensation and pensions
Source: Ibid.

$37.9 Billion
Total amount of federal government spending for veterans’ benefits programs in fiscal year 2008 that went to medical programs
Source: Ibid.

1951
The year Clint Eastwood joined the U.S. Army, one of many celebrities to have served in the armed forces, such as Ice-T, Mel Brooks, Elvis Presley, Bill Cosby, Humphrey Bogart, Ted Williams, Rob Riggle, Gene Hackman and Jimmy Stewart
Source: Ibid.

 

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