Census Bureau Statistics For Veterans

The 2009 Census reports 23.2 million living veteran in the United States.


1.8 million are female. 2.3 million are Black. 1.1 million are Hispanic. 463.000 are Asian, Native American Indian, Alaska Native, Hawaiian Native, Other Pacific Native.

18.3 million are White


6 million in peacetime.

2.6 million WWll,  with 182,ooo serving in both WWll and Korea

2.8 million Korea, with 245,000 serving in both Korea and Vietnam

7.8 million Vietnam  (33%) with 50,000 serving in both Vietnam and Gulf War

5.2 million Gulf War Veterans, with 740,000 serving in both Gulf Wars

There are 5  states with 1 million or more veterans.

Pennslyvania, 1 million. (the only state that officially recognized Vietnam Veterans with a $350 check)

New York, 1 million

Texas, 1.7 million

Florida, 1.7 million

California 2.1 million


There are 5.5 million disabled veterans. 3.4 million are service connected. And 2.9 million receive compensation for service connected disabilities for a total cost of $36.2 billion.

Last year we spent $84.4 billion on veterans benefits programs. $6.3 billion on vocational rehabilitation and related educational programs. $37.0 billion for medical programs.

And $40.2 billion was spent on compensation and pensions.

I often wonder if any nation comes close to our care for veterans. But then with us carrying most the load for cosmic security, I suspect not.

This is one veteran who has nothing but gratitude for the VA Health Care System. We are a lucky lot. Now if we can just not war, we would be pretty flush.

8 thoughts on “Census Bureau Statistics For Veterans”

  1. Mike:
    I am going to pose this question to you. Dont be offended. How many of our MIA were deserters? You put 550,000 troops in there-a % were draftees and how many went to the other side. Or were captured and turned once they were in there?
    Our record in Korea was not great. You I am sure have read about that. I have talked to a source who figures 125 of our guys who stayed. At the fall of Saigon there had been deserters who didnt get the word to get out. The Joint Chief of Staff in an interview once said that thet were no ‘Americans held against their will”.

    The VC and NVA had tens of thousands of their soldiers who came over to our side. Whats to say that 125 of our stayed. The VC had some French Communists who stayed over after the French Indo-China War. During the Second World War the Grmans had hundreds of thousands of Russians who fought on the Nazi side in combat units and police and support units.

    In WWII there were about 50 British who fought on the German side. The Japanese had tens of thousands of British Commonwealth Indian troops who fought for a “Free India” on the Japanese side.
    I believe that if they exist the US Government would just want to continue to pay the “death benefits ” to the familes. As well they should. Hard to say what the North Vietnamese would have done with them??
    I didnt want to bring this up on the day of MIA’s but military history can be unforgiving.

  2. Good questions. Deserters were frequenly encountered in the jungle. Not sure if the D.O.D. counts them as MIA’s or not. I am sure Mike will have an interesting take on this.

      1. Thanks for the compliment fraser.  Your narrative is quite good. Yes, indeed the notion of  deserters has been with us for years in conversations in coffee shops, taverns and Vet Centers.
        While on patrol one day, I found a blue eyed blond haired soldier outside a village in Vietnam. Rigagmortus had set in, my first experience with that. I was told by  our Kit Carson Scout, ( a former NVA Regular),that he was a deserter and drug dealer. We were told to leave him. Odd eh? So was he listed MIA, since he was not ID-ed? Hard to say. Were there more like him, of course.
        The other category that is left out are the expatriates that simply elected to stay in country. And their numbers are much higher than one would think.  And they are not kooks either. That saga is repeated in every war. I understand that thousands of men remained in Italy after WWll and the cocaine usage was extraordinary. I think that is mentioned in a book titled, “The Dirty Little Secrets of WWll.”
        But the answer is yes from my perspective. Since Vietnam lingered with us for a decade and a half, many combat  weary soldiers who did not want to return to a nation that had no respect for them would just vanish on R&R. I have believed for 40 years that there are a ton of Vietnam Vets, to this day, in Sydney, Australia and Bangkok, two very popular R&R locations,  running coffee shops or using there military training to entrepreneurial ends. Are they listed as MIA? Again, hard to tell, as I am sure few use their birth names.
        There is a fascinating book titled, “Hard Men Humble: Vietnam Veterans Who Wouldn’t Come Home.” by Jonathan Stevensen.  Are they driven by survivor guilt or pure humanitarian motives to remain in the land of blood and guts and bond with both our allies and enemies? Kind of a queer brand of the “Stockholm Effect.”  Are they in the MIA ranks? Who knows?

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