Here at PolicyMap, there are some data topics that we get repeated requests from our users for, and we are always excited when we are able to fulfill them. Over the years, we have gotten several requests for veteran data, so we are very excited to let users know that we have added veteran population data from the 2008-2012 American Community Survey (ACS) to PolicyMap!
According to the 2008-2012 ACS, there are more than 21.8 million veterans in the United States. While many sources assert that the veteran population is in decline, particularly with many World War II vets passing away, the demographics and geographic location of the veteran population continues changing as well. Some research suggests that the overall decline in the veteran population has been accompanied by an increasing concentration of veterans in small, more rural communities, as well as an increase in the residential segregation of veterans from the non-veteran population.
The map below shows the percent of the population 18 years or older who served in the War in Afghanistan and/or the Iraq War. The data suggests that there is a trend towards high concentrations in a number of rural counties in the South.
In addition to the breakdowns by which war(s) a veteran served in, the data on PolicyMap is also provided by race and ethnicity as well. According to projections done by the Department of Veterans Affairs, minority veterans are expected to make up a growing percentage of the veteran population over the next few decades. In fact, the Department predicts that by 2040, 1 out of 3 minority citizens will be a veteran.
It is important to note that there are some limitations to this data, which the Census speaks to here.