Saturday, August 23, 2014
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10 facts about America's veterans

Memorial Day most frequently conjures up images of beaches and barbeques. But the holiday was created to honor soldiers who died during the Civil War. So in that spirit, here are 10 facts about America's veterans:

10 facts about America's veterans

Soldiers with the 3rd U.S. Infantry Regiment, also known as The Old Guard, places flags at grave sites at Arlington National Cemetery as part of the annual "Flags-In" ceremony in preparation for Memorial Day on Thursday, May 23, 2013, in Arlington, Va. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
Soldiers with the 3rd U.S. Infantry Regiment, also known as The Old Guard, places flags at grave sites at Arlington National Cemetery as part of the annual "Flags-In" ceremony in preparation for Memorial Day on Thursday, May 23, 2013, in Arlington, Va. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

Memorial Day most frequently conjures up images of beaches and barbeques. But the holiday was created to honor soldiers who died during the Civil War. So in that spirit, here are 10 facts about America's veterans:

1. A total of 3,460 male veterans and one female veteran have received the Medal of Honor, the highest award given for valor in action against enemy forces.

2. Of veterans born in the United States, 6.6 percent were born in Pennsylvania -- the third-highest percentage in the country.

3. Cities where living veterans make up high percentages of the population include Killeen, Texas (28.9 percent of the population), Clarksville, Tenn. (24 percent of the population), Jacksonville, N.C. (22.6 percent of the population), Fayetteville, N.C. (22.1 percent of the population) and Hampton, Va. (20.9 percent of the population).

4. There are 980,529 veterans living in Pennsylvania and 441,280 in New Jersey. 

5. Veterans own 9 percent of U.S. businesses.

6. The average annual income for a veteran is about $10,000 more than that of the average American. The median income for veterans is $35,367 and the median income for the total U.S. population is $25,605.

7. Veterans are more likely than the average American to have graduated high school, but less likely to have a college degree.

8. The percentage of female veterans is rising: 17.3 percent of post-Sept. 11 veterans are women, compared with 4.4 percent of World War II veterans and 2.3 percent of Korean War veterans.

9. Gulf War veterans are the most likely to have a service-related disability. Of veterans who served in the Gulf War era, 27.2 percent have a disability incurred during active service, compared with 26.7 percent of post-Sept. 11 veterans, 20.2 percent of Vietnam veterans, 12.2 percent of Korea veterans and 13.6 percent of World War II veterans.

10. World War II was the first war in which more soldiers died from battle than from other causes.

All data is from the U.S. Census Bureau and Department of Veterans Affairs. Sources: Census Bureau Memorial Day infographic, Census Bureau veterans infographic, American Community Survey brief on veterans, National Center for Veterans Analysis and Statistics

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PhillyLists is a Philly.com blog. Contributors: Emily Babay, Frank Kummer, Brian X. McCrone, Peter Mucha, Alex Wigglesworth and Sam Wood. Reach The Breaking News team at breakingnewsdesk@philly.com.

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