Monday numbers: A closer look at the U.S. military on Veterans Day

Monday numbers: A closer look at the U.S. military on Veterans Day

- in News, Top Story

When it began in 1919, it was “Armistice Day” — a celebration of the end of World War I. It became a national holiday in 1938. But what we now know as “Veterans Day” truly began in 1954. That’s when President Dwight D. Eisenhower — who served in both World Wars — signed the change into law in order to honor those who have served in all American wars.

“On that day let us solemnly remember the sacrifices of all those who fought so valiantly, on the seas, in the air, and on foreign shores, to preserve our heritage of freedom,” Eisenhower said in his the first Veterans Day Proclamation. “And let us reconsecrate ourselves to the task of promoting and enduring peace so that their efforts shall not have been in vain.” 

This Veterans Day we’re taking a by-the-numbers look at the U.S. veteran population. (Source: U.S. Census Bureau, estimates based on 2018 American Community Survey)  

18 million – The number of military veterans living in the U.S. as of 2018.

16.3 million – The number of male military veterans living in the U.S. as of 2018.

1.7 million – The number of female military veterans living in the U.S. as of 2018.

4.7 million – The number of military veterans 65 and older living in the U.S. as of 2018 — at more than 50 percent, this is the largest group of U.S. military veterans. 

1.6 million – The number of military veterans who are 18 to 34 years old, about nine percent of the total veteran population.

14.7 million – The number of military veterans living in the U.S. who are white.

2 million – The number of military veterans living in the U.S. who are Black.

1.3 million – The number of military veterans living in the U.S. who are Hispanic or Latinx.

379,000 – The number of military veterans living in the U.S. who are two or more races. 

309,000 – The number of military veterans living in the U.S. who are Asian. 

244,000 – The number of military veterans living in the U.S. who identify as some other race.

141,000 – The number of military veterans living in the U.S. who are American Indian/Native American or Alaska Native.

41,000 – The number of military veterans living in the U.S. who are Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander.  

1.2 million – The number of military veterans living in the U.S. earning income below the federal poverty level in the last 12 months.  

5.2 million – The number of military veterans living in the U.S. who have a disability.