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Facts for Features
CB12-FF.21
Oct. 11, 2012

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Veterans Day 2012: 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.

Veterans

21.5 million

The number of military veterans in the United States in 2011.
Source: 2011 American Community Survey
<http://factfinder2.census.gov/bkmk/table/1.0/en/ACS/11_1YR/S2101>

1.6 million

The number of female veterans in 2011.
Source: 2011 American Community Survey
<http://factfinder2.census.gov/bkmk/table/1.0/en/ACS/11_1YR/B21001>

2.3 million

The number of black veterans in 2011. 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.)
Source: 2011 American Community Survey
<http://factfinder2.census.gov/bkmk/table/1.0/en/ACS/11_1YR/B21001B>
<http://factfinder2.census.gov/bkmk/table/1.0/en/ACS/11_1YR/B21001D>
<http://factfinder2.census.gov/bkmk/table/1.0/en/ACS/11_1YR/B21001I>
<http://factfinder2.census.gov/bkmk/table/1.0/en/ACS/11_1YR/C21001C>
<http://factfinder2.census.gov/bkmk/table/1.0/en/ACS/11_1YR/B21001E>
<http://factfinder2.census.gov/bkmk/table/1.0/en/ACS/11_1YR/B21001H>

9.2 million

The number of veterans 65 and older in 2011. At the other end of the age spectrum, 1.8 million were younger than 35.
Source: 2011 American Community Survey
<http://factfinder2.census.gov/bkmk/table/1.0/en/ACS/11_1YR/B21001>

When They Served

7.5 million

Number of Vietnam-era 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.
Source: 2011 American Community Survey
<http://factfinder2.census.gov/bkmk/table/1.0/en/ACS/11_1YR/B21002>

51,079

Number of living veterans in 2011 who served during the Vietnam era and both Gulf War eras and no other period. 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.

Source: 2011 American Community Survey
<http://factfinder2.census.gov/bkmk/table/1.0/en/ACS/11_1YR/B21002>

Where They Live

3

Number of states with 1 million or more veterans in 2011. These states were California (1.9 million), Florida (1.6 million) and Texas (1.6 million).
Source: 2011 American Community Survey
<http://factfinder2.census.gov/bkmk/table/1.0/en/ACS/11_1YR/S2101/0400000US06|0400000US12|0400000US48>

14.0%

Percent of people 18 and older in Alaska who were veterans in 2011. The percent of the 18-and- older population who were veterans was 12 percent or more in Maine, Montana, Virginia and Wyoming.
Source: 2011 American Community Survey
<http://factfinder2.census.gov/bkmk/table/1.0/en/ACS/11_1YR/DP02/0400000US02|0400000US23|0400000US30|0400000US51|0400000US56>

Education

26.3%

Percent of veterans 25 and older with at least a bachelor's degree in 2011. In comparison, 28.5 percent of the total population had a bachelor's degree or higher.
Source: 2011 American Community Survey
<http://factfinder2.census.gov/bkmk/table/1.0/en/ACS/11_1YR/S2101>

92.3%

Percent of veterans 25 and older with a high school diploma or higher in 2011, compared with 86 percent of the population as a whole.
Source: 2011 American Community Survey
<http://factfinder2.census.gov/bkmk/table/1.0/en/ACS/11_1YR/S2101>

Income

$35,821

Annual median income of veterans, in 2011 inflation-adjusted dollars, compared with $25,811 for the population as a whole.
Source: 2011 American Community Survey
<http://factfinder2.census.gov/bkmk/table/1.0/en/ACS/11_1YR/S2101>

On the Job

9.1 million

Number of veterans 18 to 64 in the labor force in 2011.
Source: 2011 American Community Survey
<http://factfinder2.census.gov/bkmk/table/1.0/en/ACS/11_1YR/C21005>

Disabilities

3.5 million

Number of veterans with a service-connected disability rating. Of this number, 810,245 have a rating of 70 percent or higher. Severity of one's disability is scaled from 0 to 100 percent and eligibility for compensation depends on one's rating.
Source: 2011 American Community Survey
<http://factfinder2.census.gov/bkmk/table/1.0/en/ACS/11_1YR/B21100>

Voting

15.8 million

Number of veterans who voted in the 2008 presidential election. Seventy-one percent of veterans cast a ballot in the presidential election.
Source: Voting and Registration in the Election of November 2008
<http://www.census.gov/hhes/www/socdemo/voting/index.html>

12.4 million

Number of veterans who voted in the 2010 congressional election. Fifty-seven percent of veterans voted in the 2010 congressional election.
Source: Voting and Registration in the Election of November 2010
<http://www.census.gov/hhes/www/socdemo/voting/index.html>

Business Owners

9%

Percentage of all U.S. 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.
Source: Survey of Business Owners: 2007 <http://www.census.gov/econ/sbo>

75%

Percentage of veteran owners of respondent firms who were 55 or older in 2007. This compares with 37 percent of all owners of respondent firms. Similarly, in 2007, 56 percent of veteran-owned respondent firms with employees reported that their businesses were originally established before 1990. This compares with 39 percent of all employer respondent firms.
Source: Survey of Business Owners: 2007 <http://www.census.gov/econ/sbo>

8%

Percentage of veteran owners of respondent firms who were disabled as the result of injury incurred or aggravated during active military service.
Source: Survey of Business Owners: 2007 <http://www.census.gov/econ/sbo>

Following is a list of observances typically covered by the Census Bureau’s Facts for Features series:

  • African-American History Month (February)
  • Super Bowl
  • Valentine's Day (Feb. 14)
  • Women's History Month (March)
  • Irish-American Heritage Month (March)/
          St. Patrick's Day (March 17)
  • Earth Day (April 22)
  • Asian/Pacific American Heritage Month (May)
  • Older Americans Month (May)
  • Cinco de Mayo (May 5)
  • Mother's Day
  • Hurricane Season Begins (June 1)
  • Father's Day
  • The Fourth of July (July 4)
  • Anniversary of Americans With Disabilities Act (July 26)
  • Back to School (August)
  • Labor Day
  • Grandparents Day
  • Hispanic Heritage Month (Sept. 15-Oct. 15)
  • Unmarried and Single Americans Week
  • Halloween (Oct. 31)
  • American Indian/Alaska Native Heritage Month (November)
  • Veterans Day (Nov. 11)
  • Thanksgiving Day
  • The Holiday Season (December)

Editor’s note: The preceding data were collected from a variety of sources and may be subject to sampling variability and other sources of error. Facts for Features are customarily released about two months before an observance in order to accommodate magazine production timelines. Questions or comments should be directed to the Census Bureau’s Public Information Office: telephone: 301-763-3030; fax: 301-763-3762; or e-mail: <PIO@census.gov>.

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Source: U.S. Census Bureau | Public Information Office | PIO@census.gov | Last Revised: July 15, 2014