Veterans Day By The Numbers

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Veterans Day originated as “Armistice Day” on November 11, 1919, the first anniversary of the end of World War I. Congress passed a resolution in 1926 for an annual observance, and November 11th 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. Here are some interesting numbers on Veterans...


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. Here are some stats about veterans from the U.S. Census Bureau:


21.8 million: The number of military veterans in the United States in 2010.

1.6 million: The number of female veterans in 2010.

9 million: The number of veterans 65 and older in 2010. At the other end of the age spectrum, 1.7 million were younger than 35.

7.6 million: Number of Vietnam-era veterans in 2010; 35% of all living veterans served during this time (1964-1975). In addition, 4.8 million served during the Gulf War (representing service from August 2, 1990, to present); 2.1 million in World War II (1941-1945); 2.6 million in the Korean War (1950-1953); and 5.5 million in peacetime only.

49,500: Number of living veterans in 2010 who served during the Vietnam era and both Gulf War eras and no other period. Other living veterans in 2010 who served during three wars: 54,000 served during World War II, the Korean War and the Vietnam era. Living veterans in 2010 who served during two wars and no other period: 837,000 served during both Gulf War eras; 211,000 served during both the Korean War and the Vietnam era; 147,000 served during both World War II and the Korean War.

3: Number of states with 1 million or more veterans in 2010. These states were California (2 million), Florida (1.6 million) and Texas (1.6 million).

$35,367: Annual median income of veterans, in 2010 inflation-adjusted dollars, compared with $25,605 for the population as a whole.