The Demographics of Veterans Are Changing


Pew Research has been tracking the demographics of U.S. veterans for decades, following the transition from those who served during the Vietnam era to those who have served since 1991’s first Gulf War. The number of Gulf War veterans now outnumber those who served in Vietnam: 7.9 million who served since the Gulf War and 5.9 million from the Vietnam era and before.

Most are men, about nine out of ten. That’s going to continue to change with more women joining the ranks of veterans.

“As of 2018, about 7% of US adults were veterans, and that’s down from 1980 when about one in five, or 18% of US adults, were veterans,” Pew Research Sr. Researcher Ruth Igielnik tells KTRH News.

Fewer members of Congress are military veterans than you might expect. In 1967, 75% of the men who walked the halls of the US Capitol as Congressional representatives had served. The US Senate reached their peak in 1975 at 81%. Today only 17% of members of both houses served in the military.

photo: Getty Images


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