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Day 2010 Facts and Figures
10, 2010--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 living military veterans with
parades and speeches across the nation. A
national ceremony takes place at the Tomb of
the Unknowns at Arlington National Cemetery
The U.S. Census Bureau collected and
reported the following data.
The number of military veterans in the
United States in 2009.
The number of female veterans in 2009.
Race and Hispanic origin
The number of black veterans in 2009.
Additionally, 1.1 million veterans were
Hispanic; 258,000 were Asian; 153,000 were
American Indian or Alaska Native; 30,000
were Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific
Islander; and 17.7 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.)
When they served
The number of veterans 65 and older in 2009.
At the other end of the age spectrum, 1.7
million were younger than 35.
Number of Vietnam-era veterans in 2009.
Thirty-five percent of all living veterans
served during this time (1964-1975). In
addition, 4.5 million served during the Gulf
War (representing service from Aug. 2, 1990,
to present); 2.3 million in World War II
(1941-1945); 2.7 million in the Korean War
(1950-1953); and 5.6 million in peacetime
Number of living veterans in 2009 who served
during the Vietnam era and both Gulf War
eras and no other period.
Other living veterans in 2009 who served
during three wars:
• 78,000 served during World War II, the
Korean War and the Vietnam era.
Living veterans in 2009 who served during
two wars and no other period:
• 741,000 served during both Gulf War eras.
• 230,000 served during both the Korean War
and the Vietnam era.
• 156,000 served during both World War II
and the Korean War.
Where they live
Number of states with 1 million or more
veterans in 2009. These states were
California (2 million), Florida (1.6
million) and Texas (1.6 million).
Percent of veterans 25 and older with at
least a bachelor’s degree in 2009. In
comparison, 28 percent of the total
population has a bachelor’s degree or
Percent of veterans 25 and older with a high
school diploma or higher in 2009, compared
with 85 percent of the population as a
Annual median income of veterans, in 2009
inflation-adjusted dollars, compared with
$25,559 for the population as a whole.
On the job
Number of veterans 18 to 64 in the labor
force in 2009.
Number of veterans with a disability in
Service-connected disability ratings
Number of veterans with a service-connected
disability rating. Of this number, 652,000
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.
Number of veterans who voted in the 2008
presidential election. Seventy-one percent
of veterans cast a ballot, compared with 63
percent of nonveterans.
Percentage of all U.S. firms that are
majority owned by veterans. Veteran-owned
firms comprised an estimated 2.4 million of
the 27.1 million nonfarm businesses
operating in the U.S. in 2007.
Percentage of veteran owners of respondent
firms who were 55 or older in 2002. This
compares with 31 percent of all owners of
respondent firms. Similarly, in 2002, 55
percent of veteran-owned respondent firms
with employees reported that their
businesses were originally established,
purchased or acquired before 1990. This
compares with 36 percent of all employer
Percentage of veteran owners of respondent
firms who were disabled as the result of
injury incurred or aggravated during active
Number of veterans who received compensation
for service-connected disabilities as of
2009. Their compensation totaled $35.3
Total amount of federal government spending
for veterans benefits programs in fiscal
year 2009. Of this total, $44.7 billion went
to compensation and pensions, $43.4 billion
for medical programs and the remainder to
other programs, such as vocational
rehabilitation and education.