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Veteran Status

Variable Definitions:
Veteran Status: The percentage of people who have served (but are not currently serving) on active duty in the U.S. Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, Space Force, or the Coast Guard, or who served in the U.S. Merchant Marine during World War II 

American Community Survey (ACS), 5-year estimates, Table S2101

Years Available*:
2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021, 2022

*Note: Each year of available data shown above is a 5-year estimate, or an average of data collected over a five year period. 5-year estimates are used to increase the reliability of the data at small geographies like neighborhoods and census tracts. The years shown on the NDSC map represent the final year of the five year average (e.g. “2010” represents 2006-2010 data, “2011” represents 2007-2011 data, and so on). For the most impactful comparison of data over time, the ACS recommends comparing non-overlapping years (e.g. 2010-14 with 2015-19).

Why are these variables important to measure?


Veteran status is important to measure for the design and provision of services and government programs catering to this specific population. In particular, it is used by the Department of Veteran Affairs (VA) to calculate the needs of veterans.

Veterans often face a unique set of challenges, most often related to physical and mental health. Veterans experience mental health disorders, substance use disorders, post-traumatic stress, and traumatic brain injury at disproportionate rates compared to their civilian counterparts. Understanding the percentage of people with veteran status can aid in the planning, funding, siting, and programming of various services catered to this population such as employment training, homelessness prevention, and health care.

American Community Survey. 2017 Subject Definitions. Link

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