Veterans Day by the Numbers

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — It has been 97 years since the United States first celebrated Veterans Day. On Nov. 11, 1919, the holiday, which originated as Armistice Day, marked the first anniversary since the end of World War I.

Congress passed a resolution in 1926 marking Armistice Day as an annual observance. Twelve years later, Nov. 11 was officially a national holiday.

But it wasn’t until President Dwight D. Eisenhower signed legislation in 1954 that the name was changed to Veterans Day as a way to honor all people who had served in any U.S. war.

ABC News looks at the U.S. veteran population by the numbers, using 2015 data from the U.S. Census Bureau.

18.8 million

The number of military veterans. Of those 18.8 million, 1.6 million are women.

9.3 million

The number of veterans age 65 or older. About 1.6 million are younger than 35.


The number of living veterans who served in World War II. There are 1.8 million who served in the Korean War, 6.8 million who served in Vietnam and 5.6 million who served during the Gulf War (counted as 1990 to the present). About 4.3 million served only in peacetime.

11.6 Percent

The percentage of veterans who are black. About 6.4 percent are Hispanic, while 78.3 percent are white.


The number of states with a million or more veterans: California, Texas, and Florida.

27.7 Percent

The percentage of veterans 25 and older with a bachelor’s degree. Nearly 31 percent of non-veterans have one.


The annual median income of female veterans. Compare that number to $22,505 for female non-veterans. The annual media income for male veterans is higher at $38,978, also higher than the number for male non-veterans at $34,168.

7.2 million

The number of veterans 18 to 64 years old in the labor force. Of those, 6.8 million are employed.

11.5 million

The number of veterans who voted in the 2014 congressional election. That means 54 percent of the veteran population cast a ballot, compared with 41 percent of non-veterans.

3.9 million

The number of veterans with a service-connected disability rating.


The number of all U.S. businesses that are majority owned by veterans. Veteran-owned firms comprised 7.5 percent of the nation’s 5.4 million employer businesses.

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