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 making it an annual observance, and it became a national holiday in 1938. Sixteen years later, then-President Dwight D. Eisenhower signed legislation changing the name to Veterans Day to honor all those who served their country during war or peacetime. On this day, the nation honors military veterans — living and dead — with parades and other observances across the country and a ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia.
The following facts are made possible by the invaluable responses to U.S. Census Bureau surveys. We appreciate the public’s cooperation as we continuously measure America’s people, places and economy.
The number of military veterans in the United States in 2022, representing 6.2% of the total civilian population age 18 and over.
The number of female veterans in the United States in 2022, representing 10.3% of the total veteran population.
The percentage of veterans in 2022 who served in World War II. Additionally, 4.1% of veterans served in the Korean War, 33.6% in the Vietnam War, 24.4% in the first Gulf War (August 1990 to August 2001), and 26.3% in the second Gulf War (September 2001 or later).
The percentage of veterans in 2022 who were Hispanic or Latino (of any race). Additionally, 72.3% of veterans were White alone (not Hispanic or Latino), 12.4% African American, 2.1% Asian American, 0.8% American Indian or Alaska Native, 0.2% Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander, and 2.8% Some Other Race. The percentages include only those who reported a single race.
The percentage of veteran age 75 and older in 2022. At the other end of the age spectrum, 8.5% of veterans were younger than age 35.
This detailed profile of the U.S. veteran population in 2022 includes data for:
The following is a list of observances typically covered by the Census Bureau’s Facts for Features series:
Black (African American) History Month (February)
Women's History Month (March)
Irish-American Heritage Month (March)
Asian/Pacific American Heritage Month (May)
The Fourth of July (July 4)
Anniversary of Americans With Disabilities Act (July 26)
Hispanic Heritage Month (Sept. 15-Oct. 15)
Halloween (Oct. 31)
American Indian/Alaska Native Heritage Month (November)
Veterans Day (Nov. 11)
Thanksgiving Day/Holiday Season (November-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; or e-mail: email@example.com.
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