NPR logo A Snapshot Of The New Veteran

A Snapshot Of The New Veteran

There are more than 23 million veterans in the U.S., many of whom survived wars from World War II to Vietnam. But those coming home from the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq are different from decades ago — they are younger, and more of them are women. Here, a brief look at the demographics of our overall veteran population.

  • Vets Per State
  • Female Vets
  • Ages
  • Race
  • Education

Veteran Population By State

Nearly 10 percent of the U.S. adult civilian population are veterans -- ranging from 7 percent in New York to 14 percent in Alaska.

Female Veterans By State

More and more women make up the U.S. veteran population. Women constitute 8 percent of all veterans in the U.S. But of the 425,000 who have tapped into Department of Veterans Affairs benefits since 2002, 12 percent are women. Here, a state-by-state look at how many female veterans make up each state's adult female population.

Age Groups

Although this chart shows ages of the 23 million overall veterans, there is evidence that veterans coming back from the Iraq and Afghanistan wars are younger. Of the 425,000 who have claimed VA benefits since 2002, nearly 60 percent are younger than 30.

Graph showing the break down of the U.S. veteran population by age


Graphs showing the racial breakdown of the U.S. veteran population vs. the total U.S. adult pop

Educational Attainment

Graphs showing the educational attainment of U.S. veterans vs. the total population

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