There are 21.5 million military veterans in the United States as of 2011. They are honored on Veterans Day, Nov. 11.
Veterans Day originated as “Armistice Day” on Nov. 11, 1919, the first anniversary of the end of World War I. Congress passed a resolution in 1926 for an annual observance, and Nov. 11 became a national holiday beginning in 1938. President Dwight D. Eisenhower signed legislation in 1954 to change the name to Veterans Day as a way to honor those who served in all American wars.
The day honors military veterans with parades and speeches across the nation. A national ceremony takes place at the Tomb of the Unknowns at Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia.
Some interesting stats:
The number of female veterans in 2011 totals 1.6 million. The number of Black veterans in 2011 was 2.3 million. Additionally, 1.2 million veterans were Hispanic; 264,695 were Asian; 153,223 were American Indian or Alaska Native; 27,469 were Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander; and 17.2 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.)
Over 9.2 million veterans are 65 and older in 2011. At the other end of the age spectrum, 1.8 million were younger than 35.
WHEN THEY SERVED
There were 7.5 million Vietnam service veterans in 2011: 5.1 million served during the Gulf War (representing service from Aug. 2, 1990, to present); 1.8 million in World War II (1941-1945); 2.4 million in the Korean War (1950-1953); and 5.4 million in peacetime only. The number of living veterans in 2011 who served during the Vietnam era and both Gulf War eras and no other period are 51,079.
Other living veterans in 2011 who served during three wars: 43,942 served during World War II, the Korean War and the Vietnam era. Living veterans in 2011 who served during two wars and no other period: 876,663 served during both Gulf War eras; 205,205 served during both the Korean War and the Vietnam era; 129,972 served during both World War II and the Korean War.
Three states have the largest veteran populations, numbering over 1 million each. These states were California (1.9 million), Florida (1.6 million) and Texas (1.6 million).
Alaska leads in the percent of people 18 and older with 14% who were veterans in 2011. The percent of the 18-and-older population who were veterans was 12% or more in Maine, Montana, Virginia and Wyoming.
AN EDUCATED GROUP
Yes, 26.3% of veterans 25 and older had at least a bachelor’s degree in 2011. In comparison, 28.5% of the total population had a bachelor’s degree or higher. Over 92% of veterans 25 and older had a high-school diploma or higher in 2011, compared with 86% of the population as a whole.
Annual median income of veterans, in 2011 inflation-adjusted dollars, was $35,821 compared with $25,811 for the population as a whole. There were 9.1 million veterans, 18 to 64, in the labor force in 2011. Over 3.5 million veterans have a service-connected disability rating. Of this number, 810,245 have a rating of 70% or higher.
Severity of one’s disability is scaled from 0 to 100% and eligibility for compensation depends on one’s rating. Over 16 million veterans were expected to vote Tuesday since that is the number reportedly having done so in the 2008 presidential election.
Seventy-one percent of veterans were expected to cast a ballot in this presidential election. Fifty-seven percent of veterans voted in the 2010 congressional election.
In the world of business, 9% of all US nonfarm firms that are majority-owned by veterans. Veteran-owned firms comprised an estimated 2.4 million of the 27.1 million nonfarm businesses nationwide in 2007. Seventy-five percent of veteran owners of respondent firms were 55 or older in 2007. This compares with 37% of all owners of respondent firms. Similarly, in 2007, 56% of veteran-owned respondent firms with employees reported that their businesses were originally established before 1990. This compares with 39% of all employers of respondent firms. Veteran owners of respondent firms who were disabled as the result of injury incurred or aggravated during active military service came to 8%.