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Thursday, November 11, 2021

Veterans Day 2021

Katherine Schaeffer at Pew:
In 2018, about 7% of U.S. adults were veterans, down from 18% in 1980, according to the Census Bureau. This drop coincides with decreases in active-duty personnel. Over the past half-century, the number of people on active duty has dropped significantly, from 3.5 million in 1968, during the military draft era, to about 1.4 million (or less than 1% of all U.S. adults) in today’s all-volunteer force. The draft ended in 1973.


As the share of Americans who are veterans has declined, so has the share of legislators who have previously served in the military. In the current Congress, 17% of lawmakers in both houses had prior military service, down drastically from just a few decades ago.

The share of senators who are veterans reached a post-Korean War peak of 81% in 1975, while the share among House members peaked in 1967 at 75%. However, in recent elections, both Democrats and Republicans have made special efforts to recruit veterans for congressional contests, and the newly elected freshman class includes 15 such lawmakers.