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Veteran statistics: education, income, veteran-owned businesses

Here are some interesting statistics about our veterans.

21.9 million — the number of military veterans in the United States in 2009.

1.5 million — the number of female veterans in 2009.

2.3 million — the number of black veterans in 2009. Additionally, 1.1 million veterans were Hispanic; 258,000 were Asian; 153,000 were American Indian or Alaska Native; 30,000 were Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander; and 17.7 million were non-Hispanic white. (The numbers for blacks, Asians, American Indians and Alaska Natives, Native Hawaiians and Other Pacific Islanders, and non-Hispanic whites cover only those reporting a single race.)

9 million — the number of veterans 65 and older in 2009. At the other end of the age spectrum, 1.7 million were younger than 35.

7.6 million — the number of Vietnam-era veterans in 2009. Thirty-five percent of all living veterans served during this time (1964-1975). In addition, 4.5 million served during the Gulf War (representing service from Aug. 2, 1990, to present); 2.3 million in World War II (1941-1945); 2.7 million in the Korean War (1950-1953); and 5.6 million in peacetime only.

47,000 - the number of living veterans in 2009 who served during the Vietnam era and both Gulf War eras and no other period.

Other living veterans in 2009 who served during three wars:

• 78,000 served during World War II, the Korean War and the Vietnam era.

Living veterans in 2009 who served during two wars and no other period:

• 741,000 served during both Gulf War eras.

• 230,000 served during both the Korean War and the Vietnam era.

• 156,000 served during both World War II and the Korean War.

Where They Live

3 — the number of states with 1 million or more veterans in 2009. These states were California (2 million), Florida (1.6 million) and Texas (1.6 million).

26 percent — the percent of veterans 25 and older with at least a bachelor’s degree in 2009. In comparison, 28 percent of the total population have a bachelor’s degree or higher.

92 percent — percent of veterans 25 and older with a high school diploma or higher in 2009, compared with 85 percent of the population as a whole.

$35,402 — annual median income of veterans, in 2009 inflation-adjusted dollars, compared with $25,559 for the population as a whole.

9.8 million — number of veterans 18 to 64 in the labor force in 2009.

5.5 million — umber of veterans with a disability in 2009.

3.3 million — number of veterans with a service-connected disability rating. Of this number, 652,000 have a rating of 70 percent or higher. Severity of one’s disability is scaled from 0 to 100 percent and eligibility for compensation depends on one’s rating.

15.8 million — number of veterans who voted in the 2008 presidential election. Seventy-one percent of veterans cast a ballot, compared with 63 percent of nonveterans.

9 percent — percentage of all U.S. firms that are majority owned by veterans. Veteran-owned firms comprised an estimated 2.4 million of the 27.1 million nonfarm businesses operating in the U.S. in 2007.

68 percent — percentage of veteran owners of respondent firms who were 55 or older in 2002. This compares with 31 percent of all owners of respondent firms. Similarly, in 2002, 55 percent of veteran-owned respondent firms with employees reported that their businesses were originally established, purchased or acquired before 1990. This compares with 36 percent of all employer respondent firms.

7 percent — percentage of veteran owners of respondent firms who were disabled as the result of injury incurred or aggravated during active military service.

3 million — number of veterans who received compensation for service-connected disabilities as of 2009. Their compensation totaled $35.3 billion.

$95.6 billion — total amount of federal government spending for veterans benefits programs in fiscal year 2009. Of this total, $44.7 billion went to compensation and pensions, $43.4 billion for medical programs and the remainder to other programs, such as vocational rehabilitation and education.

Durango VA Clinic

The Durango VA Outpatient Clinic is located at 1970 E. 3rd Ave. Durango, CO 81301 (the old Mercy Medical Center). Phone number is 247-2214.

DAV vans

The Disabled American Veterans (DAV) organization is running a VAHC van from Durango on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Call Mike Dunaway, 247-2198, and from the Farmington area on Mondays and Wednesdays, call Harriet Mulnix, (505) 793-1782.

Further information

For information on these and other veterans’ benefits, please call or stop by the Archuleta County Veterans Service Office located at the Senior Center in the Pagosa Springs Community Center on Hot Springs Blvd. The office number is 264-4013, the fax number is 264-4014, cell number is 946-6648, and e-mail is The office is open from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Friday. Bring your DD Form 214 (Discharge) for application for VA programs, and for filing in the VSO office.