Vermont has fewest veterans

39th among states in % of veterans, 50th in enlistments since 9/11

by Samuel Stebbins, 24/7 Wall St. via The Center Square

Vermont ranks last in the total number of veterans residing in Vermont and last in enlistments since 911.

The debt ceiling deal, struck between the Biden administration and Republicans in Congress only days before the June 5, 2023, default deadline, will provide $121 billion in veteran medical funding for fiscal 2024. The deal also includes $20 billion in compensation funding for American troops impacted by exposure to the military’s toxic burn pit sites in Iraq and other places. The money is much needed as veterans are disproportionately impacted by certain medical conditions as well as economic pressures.

As a group, former service men and women are at greater risk of mental health disorders, substance abuse problems, homelessness, and suicide than civilians of the same age group who are not veterans. This is no coincidence, as life in the military can take a profound mental and physical toll, particularly on those exposed to combat.

There are 16.5 million military veterans living in the United States today, down from 26.4 million in 2000. The decline is primarily attributable to the aging of the generations that enlisted during some of the country’s largest military mobilizations, namely, Vietnam and World War II. (These are the states with the most living WWII veterans.)

Nationwide, military veterans constitute 6.4% of the civilian adult population, though the share of veterans varies considerably from state to state.

In Vermont, 6.1% of the civilian population 18 and older have served in the military, the 11th smallest share among the 50 states.

Of the 31,971 veterans living in Vermont, the largest share — 36.7% — served in the Vietnam era, a conflict that saw 2.2 million Americans conscripted into service. 

Additionally, 12.3% of veterans in the state enlisted in September 2001 or later, and only 1.5% of living veterans served in the World War II era.

All data in this story is from the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2021 American Community Survey.

RankStateVeterans as a share of civilian adult populationTotal veteran populationVeterans who served in WWII era only (%)Veterans who served in Vietnam era only (%)Veterans who enlisted in Sept. 2001 or later (%)
6South Carolina8.7%353,0560.432.616.2
9South Dakota8.1%54,4030.334.315.5
15New Mexico7.9%128,9240.933.013.1
17New Hampshire7.8%87,6040.431.713.3
21North Carolina7.6%615,4520.829.617.2
22West Virginia7.6%107,2710.636.813.3
30North Dakota6.9%40,2500.529.720.7
43Rhode Island5.6%49,2062.633.814.6
49New Jersey3.9%283,4851.734.413.7
50New York3.9%614,2891.534.113.5

Categories: Military

8 replies »

  1. But as the incidence of mental health disorders, substance abuse and homelessness in veterans is very high and Vermont has apparently dedicated itself to attracting the homeless of other states and housing them in motels, perhaps that’s our contribution? (Sarcasm intended).

  2. Isn’t it funny that it’s the American citizen that does more to help Vets by donating to DAV, Wounded Warrior Project, Tunnel To Towers, Ruck Up and other veteran help groups than our wasteful federal government. Hey, let’s fly a Ukraine flag and send them a few billion more. (Sarcasm intended)

  3. My bet is a good many moved away. They recognize a failed State as they fought and served in places similar to this gasping and flailing marxist experiment.

    • I grew up in Vermont, enlisted in the Army in 1972, retired in 1992 and returned to Vermont. Vermont was no longer the state I grew up in. Went from the most conservative state in the Union to the most liberal/progressive in 20 years. I managed to tolerate the “new” Vermont until 2019 when I moved to North Carolina. I miss the scenery, my friends and family, and living in a rural area. I no longer pay state taxes on my military retired pay or my Social Security. I now get to enjoy living in a place that has a veto-proof conservative majority in both houses. It is only a matter of time before many other former military vote with their feet and leave.

      • Thank you for your service. As the daughter of a Merchant Marine, who served on the mop-up mission at the close of WWII, I won’t back down and I won’t retreat. All enemies foreign and domestic. If the military (past and present) doesn’t rise up soon to defend our nation and us, we will have to do it ourselves. Clock is ticking. Semper Fi Oo-rah

  4. Vermont is also one of the few states to fully tax military retirement pensions as income. Not an incentive to come here compared to many other states.

  5. I don’t have kids. But I’m guessing you all have grandchildren serving in the armed forces, right?

    • Not sure what your point is. My father served, my brothers served, I served, and my son served. My brothers and father are buried in Vermont. My son and I left in 2019 because VT is lost to those who work hard for their money, respect law, order, life, liberty and freedom. Veterans are quicker to recognize the downward spiral (because we’ve seen dictatorships and corruption in other lands) and, like us, have moved to greener pastures where freedom still reigns.

      You can keep your over-taxed, socialist paradise with garbage roads and preferred pronouns.