Jul 4, 2017

Where veterans live in the United States

This map shows which counties in the United States have the highest concentration of veterans as a rate per 10 thousand people. Veteran population densities are higher in the Northwest, along the east coast from Florida up into the Chesapeake Bay and in counties near military installations.

Data: U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, U.S. Census Bureau; Map: Lazaro Gamio / Axios

The data: The veteran population data used in the map are 2015 estimates published the Department of Veteran Affairs, which we compared to 2015 census population estimates to calculate the rate.

A caveat: You'll notice that many cities on this map show a very low rate, but that doesn't mean that they have low veteran populations. For example, Los Angeles is home to over 300 thousand veterans but has a population of over 10 million, bringing its rate to about 303 per 10 thousand. Another thing you'll notice is that rural counties show very high rates, but that's because things get tricky when populations are small.

Top 5 counties in veterans per 10 thousand people:

  1. Liberty County, Georgia — 2,007 per 10k (12,536 vets, 62,467 people)
  2. Okaloosa County, Florida — 1,792 per 10k (35,609 vets, 198,664 people)
  3. Geary County, Kansas — 1,754 per 10k (6,495 vets, 37,030 people)
  4. Cumberland County, North Carolina — 1,752 per 10k (5,6746 vets, 323,838 people)
  5. Sierra County, New Mexico — 1,706 per 10k (1,950 vets, 11,282 people)

Top 5 counties in total veteran population:

  1. Los Angeles County, California — 304 per 10k (308,834 vets, 10,170,282 people)
  2. Maricopa County (Phoenix), Arizona — 661 per 10k (275,494 vets, 4,167,947 people)
  3. San Diego County, California — 749 per 10k (246,972 vets, 3,299,521 people)
  4. Cook County (Chicago), Illinois — 364 per 10k (190,873 vets, 5,238,216 people)
  5. Harris County (Houston), Texas — 408 per 10k (185,085 vets, 4,538,028 people)
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