ALBANY, N.Y. — Veterans Day began as Armistice Day on Nov. 11, 1919 — the first anniversary of the end of World War I. It became a holiday via Congress in 1926 and was changed to Veterans Day in 1954 as a means of honoring those who served in all wars.
The U.S. Census Bureau has compiled data that look at veterans and veterans issues by the numbers:
States with the most veterans:
- California: 1.9 million
- Florida and Texas: 1.6 million
- New York: 1,025,496
21.5 million: The number of military veterans in the United States in 2011.
2.3 million: The number of black veterans in 2011. Additionally, 1.2 million veterans were Hispanic; 264,695 were Asian; 153,223 were American Indian or Alaska Native; 27,469 were Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander; and 17.2 million were non-Hispanic white.
1.6 million: The number of female veterans in 2011.
9.2 million: The number of veterans 65 and older in 2011.
1.8 million: Veterans under 35 in 2011.
7.5 million: Vietnam veterans in 2011.
5.1 million: Gulf War veterans, Aug. 2, 1990 to present.
2.4 million: Korean War veterans.
1.8 million: World War II veterans.
876,663: Veterans served during both Gulf War eras.
205,205: Veterans who served during both the Korean War and the Vietnam era.
129,972: Veterans who served during both World War II and the Korean War.
51,079: Number of living veterans in 2011 who served during the Vietnam era and both Gulf War eras and no other period.
43,942: Veterans who served during World War II, the Korean War and the Vietnam era.
26.3 percent: Percent of veterans 25 and older with at least a bachelor's degree in 2011. In comparison, 28.5 percent of the total population had a bachelor's degree or higher.
92.3 percent: Veterans 25 and older with a high school diploma or higher in 2011.
$35,821: Annual median income of veterans, in 2011 inflation-adjusted dollars, compared with $25,811 for the population as a whole.
9.1 million: Number of veterans 18 to 64 in the labor force in 2011.
3.5 million: Number of veterans with a service-connected disability rating. Of this number, 810,245 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.
15.8 million: Number of veterans who voted in the 2008 presidential election — 71 percent of those eligible in that pool.
12.4 million: Number of veterans who voted in the 2010 congressional election — 57 percent of those eligible in that pool.
9 percent: Percentage of all U.S. nonfarm firms that are majority owned by veterans, an estimated 2.4 million of the 27.1 million nonfarm businesses nationwide in 2007.