Why patriotic Utah contributes so few military recruits
Veterans Day brings an annual reminder of Utah's unusual relationship with the military.
- The state's number of veterans per population and recruiting rates are among the nation's lowest.
- Yes, but: Utah's low rate of military enlistment has historically been attributed to the high number of young adults who spend 18 months to two years serving missions for the church.
By the numbers: Veterans represent about 4.5% of the state population, per U.S. Census data — lower than the national share of 6.2% and the 5th lowest of any state.
- Utah was the fourth least represented state among new military recruits in 2020, the most recent year for which data was available.
Zoom out: Veterans make up about 3.7% of New York's population, the lowest number of veterans per population in the U.S.
- Alaska has the highest at 10.1%.
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