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Tuesday, April 6, 2021

Profile of Veterans

Katherine Schaeffer at Pew:

Gulf War-era veterans now account for the largest share of all U.S. veterans, having surpassed Vietnam-era veterans in 2016, according to the VA’s 2018 population model estimates. VA estimates for 2021 indicate there are 5.9 million American veterans who served during the Vietnam era and 7.8 million who served in the Gulf War era, which spans from August 1990 through the present. There are also around 240,000 World War II veterans and about 933,000 who served during the Korean conflict, the VA estimates. Some veterans served through multiple eras but are counted only in their earliest era. Roughly three-quarters (78%) of veterans in 2021 served during wartime, and 22% served during peacetime. (Veterans with wartime and peacetime service are only counted in wartime.)

As with trends in the U.S. population overall, the veteran population is expected to become more racially and ethnically diverse. Between 2021 and 2046, the share of veterans who are non-Hispanic White is expected to drop from 74% to 62%. The share of veterans who are Hispanic is expected to double from 8% to 16%, while the share who are Black is expected to increase slightly from 13% to 15%..