Bar graph showing how the percentage of U.S. veterans continues to decline each decade. Courtesy of U.S. Census Bureau.

Bar graph showing how the percentage of U.S. veterans continues to decline each decade. Courtesy of U.S. Census Bureau.

Washington ranks 7th among states for number of World War II veterans

12,364 WWII veterans are living in the state, with a total population of 517,912 military veterans.

A research study shows how Washington state ranks seventh among all states in the number of World War II military veterans.

For the study, released May 24, Porch Group utilized data from the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2020 American Community Survey and calculated the share of WWII veterans ages 85 and older.

According to the study, over 3 million Americans have served in U.S. military operations within the 20 years following the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks — although the number of veterans in the U.S. has declined over time. The study states that since 2000, the number of U.S. veterans has declined by more than one third, dropping from 24.6 million to less than 18 million.

During the middle of the 20th century, the U.S. military veteran population boomed because of the military draft in 1940. During that year, 9% of adults served in the U.S. military, but in 1950, the numbers jumped to 37%.

The study states how 1970 saw a peak of 44% adult veterans due to WWII, the Korean War in the 1950s, and the Vietnam War in the 1960s. Since 1970, the share of U.S. veterans declined each decade, with the military draft ending in 1973, while the aging and passing of older generations of U.S. military veterans has reduced the percentage of former service members.

From 2010 to 2020, the total population of U.S. veterans has declined by nearly 5 million, going from 22.6 million to 17.8 million, according to the study. In 2020, WWII veterans totaled around 500,000 in the U.S. and by 2030, the U.S. Census Bureau estimates that 8,000 WWII veterans will remain.

WWII veterans live in every state, but larger states such as California, Florida and New York have larger counts of veterans. The study mentions how smaller states have higher proportions of WWII veterans, with as many as 10% of their oldest citizens having served in the war.

Porch Group ranked Washington state as the 7th place in the country with the highest share of WWII veterans: 9% account for the WWII veteran share of the age 85 and above population, and 2.4% account for the WWII veteran share out of the total veteran population. The study also found that the total share of WWII veterans in the state of Washington is 12,364 while the total veteran population in the state is 517,912.

The Porch Group ranked Oregon in first place, Utah in second, Maine in third, Montana in fourth, New Hampshire in fifth and Idaho in sixth place.

FYI

Porch Group was founded in 2013 as a home services marketplace and has since evolved into a software company that provides software and services to companies. Click here to view federal, state and county resources for U.S. military veterans.


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World War II veterans in Auburn, Wash. File photo

World War II veterans in Auburn, Wash. File photo

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