Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Veteran Demographics

The number of veterans in the U.S. is shrinking. The 19.6 million veterans of 2013 were well below the 26.4 million of 2000, according to the Census Bureau. The veteran share of the adult population fell from 12.7 to 8.1 percent during those years.

Most veterans are men (92 percent), and nearly half (47 percent) are aged 65 or older. Most men aged 75 or older are veterans, but the share drops to 39 percent among men aged 65 to 74 and declines in each younger age group...

Percent of men who are veterans
Aged 18 to 34: 4%
Aged 35 to 54: 10%
Aged 55 to 64: 19%
Aged 65 to 74: 39%
Aged 75-plus: 57%

The largest share of veterans served during the Vietnam War era (36 percent), followed by the Gulf War (27 percent). Another 24 percent served during peacetime. Eleven percent of veterans served during the Korean War, and just 7 percent are World War II vets. These percentages sum to more than 100 because some veterans served in more than one era.

Only 42 percent of veterans are enrolled in the VA's health benefits program, according to a report by the Congressional Research Service (PDF). Although this figure has been rising, it remains a minority of veterans because of Congressional limits on VA funding. Veterans enrolling since 2003 and without a service disability can access benefits only if their income or net worth is below a certain threshold.

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