Veterans: U.S. Demographic Snapshot


The percentage of veterans from the Vietnam War in 2010; this was the largest share overall. Persian Gulf War-era vets (1990-2001) represented the second-largest share with less than 16 percent, followed by Korean War-era vets with nearly 12 percent. Veterans of the second Gulf war (after 2001) made up more than 10 percent of all vets, and World War II vets represented less than 10 percent.


The percentage of veterans who have less than a high school degree. Veterans were more likely than nonveterans to have a high school diploma (more than 15 percent of civilians do). But they were also slightly less likely to have a bachelor's degree: Less than 26 percent of all veterans have a college degree, compared with more than 28 percent of civilians.

21.7 million

The number of veterans in the United States in 2010. Civilians total more than 212.3 million.

Other Facts of Note


The unemployment rate for veterans in 2010. Veterans were less likely to be unemployed than civilians (the civilian unemployment rate is 10.7 percent). Vets were also less likely to have lived in poverty in the past year. Less than 7 percent of vets fell into that category, compared with more than 14 percent of the civilian population.


The approximate percentage of veterans who are white. Nearly 93 percent of all veterans were men. Blacks made up the second-largest share--more than 11 percent, followed by Hispanics with less than 6 percent.


The median income for veterans. The veterans' median income is greater than that of nonveterans: They outearn their civilian counterparts by more than $10,000 a year. Civilians made more than $24,500 annually. Male vets earned more than female veterans by more than $5,000 a year.


More than 25 percent of vets reported having a disability, compared with less than 14 percent of the nonveteran population.

Source: U.S. census