Veterans Day: By the Numbers

The facts and figures on men and women in the armed forces

Americans are paying their respects on Veterans Day Monday to the many in uniform who fought, and sometimes died, while serving the country. Here are numbers that tell the story of veterans across the U.S.


22,225,541: The current number of veterans, as of Sept. 30, 2012, figures compiled by the United States Department of Veteran Affairs. The veteran population is projected to decline from more than 22 million to under 15 million by 2040. This decrease in living veterans is most likely attributed to the Vietnam veterans of the baby boomer generation and remaining WWII vets dying off. Both wars instituted the draft.

10 percent: The percentage of living veterans who are female as of Sept. 30, 2012. The percentage of female veterans is expected to nearly double (18 percent) by 2040, according to the U.S. VA Office.

19,986,845: The number of male veterans -- approximately 90 percent -- as of Sept. 30, 2012.

California: The state with the highest population of veterans (1,844,803). Two other states, Florida and Texas, top the one million mark of living veterans.

Suffolk County: Not Kings, New York, or Queens County, but Suffolk County on Long Island has the largest population of veterans in the state of New York at 83,498 living veterans as of Sept. 30, 2011, according to statistics compiled by the VA. That's double the amount of living veterans in the borough of Manhattan.


Los Angeles County is the capital of the veteran population with more than 300,000 living veterans as of Sept. 30, 2011. Maricopa County, Ariz., which serves the greater Phoenix area, is the only other county with more than 200,000 living veterans.


The VA projects the percentage of minority veterans –African-Americans, Hispanics, Asians, among others– to increase to approximately one-third of all armed forces service members by 2040.

2,613,980: The number of veterans who are African-American, 12 percent of armed forces veterans. That rate is expected to increase to more than 16 percent by 2040, according to the VA.

273,684: The number of Asian veterans, less than 2 percent.


1,790,290: Post-9/11 wartime living veterans as of Sept. 30, 2011. These service members include those who served in both the Iraq and Afghanistan Wars after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorists attacks. The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan represent the nation's longest wars.

7,574,032: Living Vietnam War veterans as of Sept. 30, 2011. These veterans account for the largest amount of living veterans.

2,433,372: Living Korean War veterans as of Sept. 30, 2011.

1: Number of projected living pre-WWII veterans by 2040.


500,576: Total lives lost for WWII, Korean, Vietnam and first Gulf War, according to a 2010 Congressional hearing report on American military operations.

6,760: Casualties as of Nov. 8, 2013 in Gulf War II, according to a Defense Department report.


256,820: The number of Gulf War II veterans as of June 30, 2012 diagnosed with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) at U.S. Vet Centers, according to a 2012 report by the VA.

16 percent: Rate of Gulf War II veterans diagnosed with PTSD. As of June 2012, there are more than 1.5 million Gulf War II veterans.


201,435: Veterans enrolled with VA for healthcare who have had a diagnosis associated with TBI, according to a 2013 Congressional Report.

56,695: Gulf War II veterans who have been treated by VA for condition related to TBI.


76,329: The number of living veterans who were homeless in 2010, according to statistics compiled by the VA. Another 144,842 veterans were living in shelters.

35 percent: The percentage of homeless vets who are African-American. The next closest rate of minority homelessness among veterans was Hispanic/Latino at five percent.

16 percent: Amount of veterans who accounted for adult homeless population in 2010.


6.9 percent: The unemployment rate of all living veterans as of Oct. 2013, according to a U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics report.

10 percent: The unemployment rate of Gulf War II veterans as of Oct. 2013. Gulf War II veterans include those who served tours in either Iraq or Afghanistan post 9/11. Gulf War II veterans have the highest unemployment rate out of all veterans.


28 percent: Rate of Gulf War II veterans who were on some form of service-related disability, according to a 2012 report by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. That is double the rate of service disability of all other veterans (14 percent).


117,000: Number of former service members and their spouses who gained work during 2013, NBC News reported. The job posts were filled among 185 companies ranked by Victory Media among America's most military-friendly employers, NBC News reported.

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