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US states with the most veterans of World War II

US states with the most veterans of World War II

Anthony Correia / Shutterstock.com Editor's Note: This story originally appeared on Porch.The U.S. veteran population grew in the mid-20th century, w

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American veteran with American flag
Anthony Correia / Shutterstock.com

Editor’s Note: This story originally appeared on Porch.

The U.S. veteran population grew in the mid-20th century, with the introduction of a military concept in 1940 and the beginning of U.S. involvement in World War II the following year. In 1940, only 9% of adults served in the military, but just one decade later, that figure more than quadrupled to 37%. Between World War II veterans, the Korean War in the 1950s, and the Vietnam War in the 1960s, the share of adult veterans peaked at 44% in 1970. Since then, however, the share of veterans has declined every decade. The concept was discontinued in 1973, and over time, the aging and passing of older generations of veterans has reduced the percentage of former service members.

World War II veterans numbered about 500,000 in the U.S. by 2020, but the U.S. Census Bureau estimates that by 2030, only 8,000 WWII veterans will remain. These veterans live in every state in the U.S., but large states like California (53,807), Florida (48,220) and New York (31,730) have the largest total scores of WWII veterans. However, as part of the population older than 85, much smaller states have higher proportions of World War II veterans, with as many as 10% of the states’ oldest citizens serving in the war.

The data used in this analysis are from the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2020 U.S. Community Survey. To determine the states with the most World War II veterans, researchers at Porch calculated the World War II veterans share of states’ population of 85 and older. In the event of a strike, the state with the greater veteran share of World War II was ranked higher in the total veteran population.

Here are the states with the most WWII veterans.

15. Virginia

Virginia Capitol
Zack Frank / Shutterstock.com
  • WWII veteran share of the 85+ population: 8.5%
  • WWII veterans share of the total veteran population: 1.9%
  • Total WWII veterans: 12 672
  • Total veteran population: 674 242

14. Missouri

St Louis, Missouri
Joseph Sohm / Shutterstock.com
  • WWII veteran share of the 85+ population: 8.5%
  • WWII veterans share of the total veteran population: 2.8%
  • Total WWII veterans: 11 083
  • Total veteran population: 391 513

13. Pennsylvania

Harrisburg Capital
Jon Bilous / Shutterstock.com
  • WWII veteran share of the 85+ population: 8.6%
  • WWII veterans share of the total veteran population: 4.0%
  • Total WWII veterans: 29 198
  • Total veteran population: 731 411

12. Rhode Island

Rhode Island Capitol
wolffpower / Shutterstock.com
  • WWII veteran share of the 85+ population: 8.6%
  • WWII veterans share of the total veteran population: 4.3%
  • Total WWII veterans: 2 233
  • Total veteran population: 52 128

11. Nevada

Nevada Legislature
James Pintar / Shutterstock.com
  • WWII veteran share of the 85+ population: 8.7%
  • WWII veterans share of the total veteran population: 1.9%
  • Total WWII veterans: 3 957
  • Total veteran population: 205 659

10. Delaware

Jon Bilous / Shutterstock.com
  • WWII veteran share of the 85+ population: 8.7%
  • WWII veterans share of the total veteran population: 2.5%
  • Total WWII veterans: 1 630
  • Total veteran population: 65 065

9. Ohio

Columbus Ohio
f11photo / Shutterstock.com
  • WWII veteran share of the 85+ population: 8.7%
  • WWII veterans share of the total veteran population: 3.3%
  • Total WWII veterans: 22 627
  • Total veteran population: 685 905

8. New Mexico

New Mexico Capitol
Zack Frank / Shutterstock.com
  • WWII veteran share of the 85+ population: 8.8%
  • WWII veterans share of the total veteran population: 2.6%
  • Total WWII veterans: 3 661
  • Total veteran population: 141 558

7. Washington

Olympia, Washington
Real Window Creative / Shutterstock.com
  • WWII veteran share of the 85+ population: 9.0%
  • WWII veterans share of the total veteran population: 2.4%
  • Total WWII veterans: 12 364
  • Total veteran population: 517 912

6. Idaho

Boise, Idaho
Charles Knowles / Shutterstock.com
  • WWII veteran share of the 85+ population: 9.4%
  • WWII veterans share of the total veteran population: 2.4%
  • Total WWII veterans: 2 719
  • Total veteran population: 115 549

5. New Hampshire

Concord, New Hampshire
Wangkun Jia / Shutterstock.com
  • WWII veteran share of the 85+ population: 9.4%
  • WWII veterans share of the total veteran population: 3.0%
  • Total WWII veterans: 2 821
  • Total veteran population: 93 326

4. Montana

Montana Capitol
Katherine Welles / Shutterstock.com
  • WWII veteran share of the 85+ population: 9.8%
  • WWII veterans share of the total veteran population: 2.4%
  • Total WWII veterans: 2 086
  • Total veteran population: 85 401

3. Maine

Maine Capitol Building
Sean Pavone / Shutterstock.com
  • WWII veteran share of the 85+ population: 9.8%
  • WWII veterans share of the total veteran population: 3.3%
  • Total WWII veterans: 3 390
  • Total veteran population: 101 652

2. Utah

Salt Lake City, Utah
f11photo / Shutterstock.com
  • WWII veteran share of the 85+ population: 9.9%
  • WWII veterans share of the total veteran population: 3.0%
  • Total WWII veterans: 3 602
  • Total veteran population: 120 198

1. Oregon

Salem, Oregon
James Curzio / Shutterstock.com
  • WWII veteran share of the 85+ population: 10.0%
  • WWII veterans share of the total veteran population: 3.2%
  • Total WWII veterans: 8 807
  • Total veteran population: 273 946

Detailed findings and methodology

nito / Shutterstock.com

The data used in this analysis are from the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2020 U.S. Community Survey. To determine the states with the most veterans of World War II, researchers at Porch calculated the veteran share of World War II of the population of 85 and older. In the event of a strike, the state with the greater veteran share of World War II was ranked higher in the total veteran population.

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