What it means to be a US Veteran Today

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Six easy graphs that tell a big story:

1. You represent a much small portion of the American people than veterans in the 1980s.

2. You currently have the highest risk of being classified as poor for any time period since 1980. Since 2005, the rate of poverty among veterans has nearly doubled. That makes you still better off than the general population but not by much.

 3. You are now less likely to own your own home than any time since 1980.

4. On a positive note, you are more likely to have completed high-school than at any other time in history.

5. On a not so positive note, as a veteran in 2010+ you are much less likely to have completed four or more years of college than those with no military service. Unfortunately the current world is not friendly to those without a college degree.

6. And to top it off. The strain of being a veteran has negatively affected your marriage. Starting in the 1990s and getting worse over time, the likelihood of being separated or divorced from your spouse is significantly higher than that of the no-military-service population.

So what is the takeaway?

Vote for a president you know is going to support your issues. 


In this quick analysis, I look at the census records of 470 thousand random adults between the ages of 18 and 65 sampled each of the years (1980,1990,2000,2005,2010,2013). The source of the data is from IPUMS-USA.

In order control the effect of disproportionate representations of ages across years each year sample has been reduced so that a constant proportions of all ages have been represented for each year.

PUMS-USA, University of Minnesota, www.ipums.org.

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