U.S. Census Bureau Releases Key Statistics on Nation's Veterans


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U.S. Census Bureau Graphic on Veteran-Owned Businesses in the U.S.
U.S. Census Bureau Graphic on Veteran-Owned Businesses in the U.S.

Veterans Day originated as “Armistice Day” on Nov. 11, 1919, the first anniversary marking the end of World War I. Congress passed a resolution in 1926 for an annual observance, and Nov. 11 became a national holiday beginning in 1938. President Dwight D. Eisenhower signed legislation in 1954 to change the name to Veterans Day as a way to honor those who served in all American wars. The day honors military veterans with parades and speeches across the nation and a remembrance ceremony takes place at the Tomb of the Unknowns at Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, Va.

In honor of our Nation's Veterans, the U.S. Census Bureau compiled the following statistics: 

18.8 million

The number of military veterans in the United States in 2015.

1.6 million

The number of female veterans in the United States in 2015.

6.8 million

The number of Vietnam Era veterans in 2015. Moreover, there were 5.6 million who served during the Gulf War (representing service from August 1990 to present); 930,000 who served in World War II; 1.8 million who served in the Korean War; and 4.3 million who served in peacetime only.

7.2 million

The number of veterans 18 to 64 years old in the labor force in 2015. Of those veterans, 6.8 million were employed.


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

For more key statistics on our Nation's veterans, please visit  the U.S. Census Bureau's latest issue of Facts for Features:  Veteran's Day 2016.

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Last updated: 2017-09-20 14:32

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