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The University of Alabama

Alabama Is Home to More Than 400,000 Veterans, According to UA Data Center

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — The nation is preparing to observe Veterans Day 2011, and among those to be honored are more than 400,000 Alabamians, according to Annette Watters, manager of the Alabama State Data Center at The University of Alabama’s Center for Business and Economic Research at the Culverhouse College of Commerce.

“The U.S. Census Bureau and the Veterans Administration both estimate the number of veterans in each state,” Watters said. “The two agencies differ a little in their numbers, but not much. In 2011, there are approximately 401,000 veterans in Alabama. Ninety-one percent of Alabama veterans are men, and nine percent are women.”

Alabama has always been a state proud of its willingness to defend the nation.The Alabama Army National Guard is currently the sixth largest Guard in the nation and is first per capita with more than 11,000 soldiers.

The annual Veterans Day Parade in Birmingham is the largest Veterans Day parade in the United States. Marching bands, soldiers, horsemen, motorcades, patriots young and old will parade through downtown Birmingham, while thousands of spectators wave Old Glory in honor of America’s veterans.

Watters said the 401,000 represents about 11 percent of the civilian population aged 18 and over.

“Much higher percentages of older men are veterans,” Watters said. “Among men in Alabama aged 75 and older, 69 percent are veterans. Only 15 percent of men aged 35 to 54-years-old are veterans. But, the total number of veterans is higher in the younger age group than in the older group because every year there are people who don’t survive into the older age groups.”

About two percent of all adult women in Alabama are veterans – about 31,500 women.

Watters said that in 2007, the most recent year for which estimates are available, there were 66,760 firms in Alabama classifiable by veteran status. Nineteen percent (12,800) of those were either owned or co-owned by veterans.

Alabama’s 12,800 veteran-owned or co-owned businesses employed 144,400 people with an annual payroll of $14.4 billion in 2007.

Veterans Day originated as “Armistice Day” on Nov. 11, 1919, the first anniversary of 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. A national ceremony takes place at the Tomb of the Unknowns at Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia.

Watters and the U.S. Census provided these other facts about the country’s veterans

21.8 million

The number of military veterans in the United States in 2010.
Source: 2010 American Community Survey

1.6 million

The number of female veterans in 2010.
Source: 2010 American Community Survey

2.4 million

The number of black veterans in 2010. Additionally, 1.2 million veterans were Hispanic; 265,000 were Asian; 156,000 were American Indian or Alaska Native; 28,000 were Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander; and 17.5 million were non-Hispanic white. (The numbers for blacks, Asians, American Indians and Alaska Natives, Native Hawaiians and Other Pacific Islanders, and non-Hispanic whites cover only those reporting a single race.)
Source: 2010 American Community Survey

9 million

The number of veterans 65 and older in 2010. At the other end of the age spectrum, 1.7 million were younger than 35.
Source: 2010 American Community Survey

When They Served

7.6 million

Number of Vietnam-era veterans in 2010. Thirty-five percent of all living veterans served during this time (1964-1975). In addition, 4.8 million served during the Gulf War (representing service from Aug. 2, 1990, to present); 2.1 million in World War II (1941-1945); 2.6 million in the Korean War (1950-1953); and 5.5 million in peacetime only.
Source: 2010 American Community Survey

49,500

Number of living veterans in 2010 who served during the Vietnam era and both Gulf War eras and no other period.

Other living veterans in 2010 who served during three wars:

54,000 served during World War II, the Korean War and the Vietnam era.

Living veterans in 2010 who served during two wars and no other period:

837,000 served during both Gulf War eras.

211,000 served during both the Korean War and the Vietnam era.

147,000 served during both World War II and the Korean War.
Source: 2010 American Community Survey

                                                                        Where They Live

3

Number of states with 1 million or more veterans in 2010. These states were California (2 million), Florida (1.6 million) and Texas (1.6 million).
Source: 2010 American Community Survey

14.1%

Percent of people 18 and older in Alaska who were veterans in 2010. The percent of the 18 and older population who were veterans was 12 percent or more in Maine, Montana, Virginia and Wyoming.
Source: 2010 American Community Survey

                                                                         Education

26%
Percent of veterans 25 and older with at least a bachelor’s degree in 2010. In comparison, 28 percent of the total population had a bachelor’s degree or higher.
Source: 2010 American Community Survey

92%

Percent of veterans 25 and older with a high school diploma or higher in 2010, compared with 86 percent of the population as a whole.
Source: 2010 American Community Survey

Income

$35,367

Annual median income of veterans, in 2010 inflation-adjusted dollars, compared with $25,605 for the population as a whole.
Source: 2010 American Community Survey

On the Job

9.6 million

Number of veterans 18 to 64 in the labor force in 2010.
Source: 2010 American Community Survey

Disabilities

26%

Percent of veterans for whom poverty status is determined with a disability in 2010.
Source: 2010 American Community Survey

3.4 million

Number of veterans with a service-connected disability rating. Of this number, 698,000 have a rating of 70 percent or higher. Severity of one’s disability is scaled from 0 to 100 percent and eligibility for compensation depends on one’s rating.
Source: 2010 American Community Survey

Voting

15.8 million

Number of veterans who voted in the 2008 presidential election. Seventy-one percent of veterans cast a ballot in the presidential election.
Source: Voting and Registration in the Election of November 2008
<http://www.census.gov/hhes/www/socdemo/voting/index.html>

12.4 million

Number of veterans who voted in the 2010 congressional election. Fifty-seven percent of veterans voted in the 2010 congressional election.
Source: Voting and Registration in the Election of November 2010
<http://www.census.gov/hhes/www/socdemo/voting/index.html>

Business Owners

9%

Percentage of all U.S. nonfarm firms that are majority owned by veterans. Veteran-owned firms comprised an estimated 2.4 million of the 27.1 million nonfarm businesses nationwide in 2007.
Source: Survey of Business Owners: 2007 <http://www.census.gov/econ/sbo>

75%

Percentage of veteran owners of respondent firms who were 55 or older in 2007. This compares with 37 percent of all owners of respondent firms. Similarly, in 2007, 56 percent of veteran-owned respondent firms with employees reported that their businesses were originally established before 1990. This compares with 39 percent of all employer respondent firms.
Source: Survey of Business Owners: 2007 <http://www.census.gov/econ/sbo>

8%

Percentage of veteran owners of respondent firms who were disabled as the result of injury incurred or aggravated during active military service.
Source: Survey of Business Owners: 2007 <http://www.census.gov/econ/sbo>

The University of Alabama, a student-centered research university, is experiencing significant growth in both enrollment and academic quality. This growth, which is positively impacting the campus and the state's economy, is in keeping with UA's vision to be the university of choice for the best and brightest students. UA, the state's flagship university, is an academic community united in its commitment to enhancing the quality of life for all Alabamians.

  • CONTACT: Bill Gerdes, UA media relations, 205/348-8318, bgerdes@cba.ua.edu
  • SOURCE: Annette Watters, manager, Alabama State Data Center, 205/348-6191