Veterans Day by the Numbers

November 13, 2012

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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