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States with the most veterans

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PEPPERSMINT // Shutterstock

States With the Most Veterans

Every day, thousands of brave men and women put their lives on the line to defend our country. In an incredible sacrifice, the members of the U.S. Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps and Coast Guard have chosen to serve our nation in one of the most selfless ways possible.

But for many of America’s soldiers, service doesn’t end upon returning home - America’s veterans continue to make a huge impact every day, from acting as everyday heroes on the street to using their wings to bring rescue dogs to new owners. Indeed, there are over 20M U.S. Veterans in America today, with incredible volunteering opportunities all around us in a chance to interact with real-life heroes.

But where do our veterans decide to settle upon returning home?

Stacker examined U.S. Census data released in 2017 to determine which states have the highest rates of veterans as a percentage of the adult civilian population. The Census defines veterans as those who have formerly had active duty service across the U.S. Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, or Coast Guard (in addition to U.S. Merchant Marine during World War II).

For each state, we provide estimated populations for veterans ranging from recent tours of duty today to as far back as World War II- offering a glimpse into the legacy of service that resides within each state.

So how many veterans live in your state? Read on to see the U.S. states with the most vets.

 

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U.S. Army // Wikimedia

#50. New York

Veterans Percent: 4.7% of civilians 18 years or older
Total Veterans: 723,582
- World War II: 47,002
- Korean War: 82,411
- Vietnam War: 244,147
- Gulf War I (Aug '90 - Aug '01): 104,286
- Gulf War II (Sep '01 or later): 102,092

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Tomwsulcer // Wikimedia

#49. New Jersey

Veterans Percent: 4.8% of civilians 18 years or older
Total Veterans: 330,766
- World War II: 22,662
- Korean War: 41,225
- Vietnam War: 122,104
- Gulf War I (Aug '90 - Aug '01): 42,904
- Gulf War II (Sep '01 or later): 39,169

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Flickr

#48. California

Veterans Percent: 5.4% of civilians 18 years or older
Total Veterans: 1,624,519
- World War II: 77,567
- Korean War: 160,972
- Vietnam War: 579,166
- Gulf War I (Aug '90 - Aug '01): 277,896
- Gulf War II (Sep '01 or later): 306,600

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Danielle Lee Brown // Shutterstock

#47. Massachusetts

Veterans Percent: 5.7% of civilians 18 years or older
Total Veterans: 311,150
- World War II: 20,232
- Korean War: 35,260
- Vietnam War: 111,101
- Gulf War I (Aug '90 - Aug '01): 40,588
- Gulf War II (Sep '01 or later): 43,477

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Ken Lund // Flickr

#46. Utah

Veterans Percent: 5.8% of civilians 18 years or older
Total Veterans: 122,654
- World War II: 5,676
- Korean War: 11,890
- Vietnam War: 44,597
- Gulf War I (Aug '90 - Aug '01): 24,901
- Gulf War II (Sep '01 or later): 25,766

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Jim Bowen // Wikimedia

#45. Illinois

Veterans Percent: 5.9% of civilians 18 years or older
Total Veterans: 583,994
- World War II: 27,457
- Korean War: 59,108
- Vietnam War: 215,152
- Gulf War I (Aug '90 - Aug '01): 100,080
- Gulf War II (Sep '01 or later): 81,232

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Stephanie Dreyer // DOD Photo, defense.gov

#44. Connecticut

Veterans Percent: 6.1% of civilians 18 years or older
Total Veterans: 170,879
- World War II: 11,602
- Korean War: 18,919
- Vietnam War: 62,784
- Gulf War I (Aug '90 - Aug '01): 23,564
- Gulf War II (Sep '01 or later): 22,560

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Chief Petty Officer James Foehl // wikimedia

#43. Rhode Island

Veterans Percent: 6.6% of civilians 18 years or older
Total Veterans: 55,465
- World War II: 3,063
- Korean War: 7,198
- Vietnam War: 20,982
- Gulf War I (Aug '90 - Aug '01): 8,360
- Gulf War II (Sep '01 or later): 7,325

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Judy M Darby // Shutterstock

#42. Louisiana

Veterans Percent: 6.8% of civilians 18 years or older
Total Veterans: 241,202
- World War II: 8,439
- Korean War: 20,142
- Vietnam War: 85,295
- Gulf War I (Aug '90 - Aug '01): 52,591
- Gulf War II (Sep '01 or later): 44,700

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Christian M. Mericle // Wikimedia

#41. Texas

Veterans Percent: 7.1% of civilians 18 years or older
Total Veterans: 1,460,627
- World War II: 42,735
- Korean War: 98,842
- Vietnam War: 501,215
- Gulf War I (Aug '90 - Aug '01): 361,740
- Gulf War II (Sep '01 or later): 358,210

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Dwight Burdette // wikimedia

#40. Michigan

Veterans Percent: 7.2% of civilians 18 years or older
Total Veterans: 559,155
- World War II: 26,091
- Korean War: 53,519
- Vietnam War: 215,748
- Gulf War I (Aug '90 - Aug '01): 80,838
- Gulf War II (Sep '01 or later): 67,419

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Bjoertvedt // wikimedia

#39. Minnesota

Veterans Percent: 7.3% of civilians 18 years or older
Total Veterans: 310,786
- World War II: 15,160
- Korean War: 34,231
- Vietnam War: 117,485
- Gulf War I (Aug '90 - Aug '01): 44,461
- Gulf War II (Sep '01 or later): 41,865

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Niyazz // Shutterstock

#38. Vermont

Veterans Percent: 7.4% of civilians 18 years or older
Total Veterans: 37,412
- World War II: 2,672
- Korean War: 3,558
- Vietnam War: 15,259
- Gulf War I (Aug '90 - Aug '01): 5,794
- Gulf War II (Sep '01 or later): 4,679

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Daderot // wikimedia

#37. Wisconsin

Veterans Percent: 7.5% of civilians 18 years or older
Total Veterans: 336,559
- World War II: 16,011
- Korean War: 32,204
- Vietnam War: 124,951
- Gulf War I (Aug '90 - Aug '01): 51,256
- Gulf War II (Sep '01 or later): 46,611

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Huw Williams // Wikimedia

#36. Indiana

Veterans Percent: 7.5% of civilians 18 years or older
Total Veterans: 381,073
- World War II: 16,211
- Korean War: 33,991
- Vietnam War: 135,322
- Gulf War I (Aug '90 - Aug '01): 64,324
- Gulf War II (Sep '01 or later): 48,855

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RifeIdeas // Wikimedia

#35. Iowa

Veterans Percent: 7.6% of civilians 18 years or older
Total Veterans: 183,822
- World War II: 8,313
- Korean War: 18,750
- Vietnam War: 70,364
- Gulf War I (Aug '90 - Aug '01): 28,827
- Gulf War II (Sep '01 or later): 26,265

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MPHaas // Wikimedia

#34. Pennsylvania

Veterans Percent: 7.8% of civilians 18 years or older
Total Veterans: 791,295
- World War II: 44,217
- Korean War: 84,881
- Vietnam War: 290,384
- Gulf War I (Aug '90 - Aug '01): 118,539
- Gulf War II (Sep '01 or later): 101,077

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U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Aramis X. Ramirez // Wikimedia

#33. Mississippi

Veterans Percent: 7.8% of civilians 18 years or older
Total Veterans: 176,719
- World War II: 5,410
- Korean War: 13,279
- Vietnam War: 62,121
- Gulf War I (Aug '90 - Aug '01): 42,170
- Gulf War II (Sep '01 or later): 35,405

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Tim Evanson // Wikimedia

#32. Maryland

Veterans Percent: 8.0% of civilians 18 years or older
Total Veterans: 370,459
- World War II: 12,272
- Korean War: 25,555
- Vietnam War: 114,677
- Gulf War I (Aug '90 - Aug '01): 93,697
- Gulf War II (Sep '01 or later): 90,266

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Bedford at English Wikipedia // Wikimedia

#31. Kentucky

Veterans Percent: 8.0% of civilians 18 years or older
Total Veterans: 272,899
- World War II: 9,710
- Korean War: 22,258
- Vietnam War: 104,894
- Gulf War I (Aug '90 - Aug '01): 57,676
- Gulf War II (Sep '01 or later): 43,802

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Palbert01 // wikimedia

#30. Kansas

Veterans Percent: 8.1% of civilians 18 years or older
Total Veterans: 175,372
- World War II: 7,716
- Korean War: 16,059
- Vietnam War: 64,245
- Gulf War I (Aug '90 - Aug '01): 33,611
- Gulf War II (Sep '01 or later): 35,641

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Denise Kappa // Shutterstock

#29. Ohio

Veterans Percent: 8.1% of civilians 18 years or older
Total Veterans: 729,520
- World War II: 33,121
- Korean War: 63,800
- Vietnam War: 268,351
- Gulf War I (Aug '90 - Aug '01): 127,262
- Gulf War II (Sep '01 or later): 99,558

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U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Master Sgt. David H. Lipp // wikimedia

#28. North Dakota

Veterans Percent: 8.1% of civilians 18 years or older
Total Veterans: 46,905
- World War II: 1,859
- Korean War: 4,305
- Vietnam War: 15,412
- Gulf War I (Aug '90 - Aug '01): 10,403
- Gulf War II (Sep '01 or later): 10,453

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Michael Rivera // wikimedia

#27. Georgia

Veterans Percent: 8.3% of civilians 18 years or older
Total Veterans: 643,660
- World War II: 15,042
- Korean War: 38,917
- Vietnam War: 211,815
- Gulf War I (Aug '90 - Aug '01): 184,791
- Gulf War II (Sep '01 or later): 140,928

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Niyazz // Shutterstock

#26. Tennessee

Veterans Percent: 8.3% of civilians 18 years or older
Total Veterans: 427,976
- World War II: 11,509
- Korean War: 32,570
- Vietnam War: 159,300
- Gulf War I (Aug '90 - Aug '01): 87,948
- Gulf War II (Sep '01 or later): 77,991

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Josh Plueger // U.S. Air Force Photo

#25. Nebraska

Veterans Percent: 8.4% of civilians 18 years or older
Total Veterans: 120,533
- World War II: 5,565
- Korean War: 12,106
- Vietnam War: 42,666
- Gulf War I (Aug '90 - Aug '01): 24,898
- Gulf War II (Sep '01 or later): 22,187

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Niyazz // Shutterstock

#24. Delaware

Veterans Percent: 8.5% of civilians 18 years or older
Total Veterans: 63,316
- World War II: 2,834
- Korean War: 5,827
- Vietnam War: 24,790
- Gulf War I (Aug '90 - Aug '01): 11,103
- Gulf War II (Sep '01 or later): 7,178

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A1C John Nieves Camacho // wikimedia

#23. North Carolina

Veterans Percent: 8.6% of civilians 18 years or older
Total Veterans: 666,425
- World War II: 19,936
- Korean War: 48,245
- Vietnam War: 233,373
- Gulf War I (Aug '90 - Aug '01): 158,803
- Gulf War II (Sep '01 or later): 139,729

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Michael Barera // wikimedia

#22. Arkansas

Veterans Percent: 8.7% of civilians 18 years or older
Total Veterans: 197,781
- World War II: 7,887
- Korean War: 16,417
- Vietnam War: 82,486
- Gulf War I (Aug '90 - Aug '01): 39,273
- Gulf War II (Sep '01 or later): 30,854

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Perry Correll // Shutterstock

#21. Florida

Veterans Percent: 8.7% of civilians 18 years or older
Total Veterans: 1,429,330
- World War II: 69,515
- Korean War: 153,529
- Vietnam War: 520,995
- Gulf War I (Aug '90 - Aug '01): 284,909
- Gulf War II (Sep '01 or later): 230,714

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mark reinstein // Shutterstock

#20. Alabama

Veterans Percent: 8.8% of civilians 18 years or older
Total Veterans: 331,076
- World War II: 9,752
- Korean War: 28,331
- Vietnam War: 120,266
- Gulf War I (Aug '90 - Aug '01): 74,090
- Gulf War II (Sep '01 or later): 66,581

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Sgt. Jonathan Thibault // wikimedia

#19. Colorado

Veterans Percent: 8.9% of civilians 18 years or older
Total Veterans: 376,108
- World War II: 10,344
- Korean War: 24,471
- Vietnam War: 136,818
- Gulf War I (Aug '90 - Aug '01): 91,583
- Gulf War II (Sep '01 or later): 84,466

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Department of Defense. Defense Audiovisual Agency; Scene Camera Operator: Mickey Sanborn // wikimedia

#18. Idaho

Veterans Percent: 8.9% of civilians 18 years or older
Total Veterans: 110,599
- World War II: 4,286
- Korean War: 10,519
- Vietnam War: 43,306
- Gulf War I (Aug '90 - Aug '01): 21,973
- Gulf War II (Sep '01 or later): 18,244

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U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Justin P. Nesbitt // Wikimedia

#17. Missouri

Veterans Percent: 9.0% of civilians 18 years or older
Total Veterans: 420,122
- World War II: 17,314
- Korean War: 40,472
- Vietnam War: 160,323
- Gulf War I (Aug '90 - Aug '01): 76,766
- Gulf War II (Sep '01 or later): 64,975

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Sue Stokes // Shutterstock

#16. New Mexico

Veterans Percent: 9.0% of civilians 18 years or older
Total Veterans: 142,187
- World War II: 5,341
- Korean War: 12,483
- Vietnam War: 56,879
- Gulf War I (Aug '90 - Aug '01): 30,911
- Gulf War II (Sep '01 or later): 25,189

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KelseyJ // Shutterstock

#15. New Hampshire

Veterans Percent: 9.1% of civilians 18 years or older
Total Veterans: 97,864
- World War II: 4,473
- Korean War: 9,076
- Vietnam War: 35,370
- Gulf War I (Aug '90 - Aug '01): 18,632
- Gulf War II (Sep '01 or later): 13,913

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Oregon National Guard from Salem, Oregon, United States // Wikimedia

#14. Oregon

Veterans Percent: 9.2% of civilians 18 years or older
Total Veterans: 295,845
- World War II: 14,322
- Korean War: 27,221
- Vietnam War: 115,454
- Gulf War I (Aug '90 - Aug '01): 51,287
- Gulf War II (Sep '01 or later): 44,973

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TwinsofSedona // wikimedia

#13. Arizona

Veterans Percent: 9.2% of civilians 18 years or older
Total Veterans: 485,094
- World War II: 19,106
- Korean War: 46,868
- Vietnam War: 189,899
- Gulf War I (Aug '90 - Aug '01): 93,435
- Gulf War II (Sep '01 or later): 78,926

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SrA Daniel Hughes // wikimedia

#12. Nevada

Veterans Percent: 9.2% of civilians 18 years or older
Total Veterans: 208,263
- World War II: 4,978
- Korean War: 14,393
- Vietnam War: 80,721
- Gulf War I (Aug '90 - Aug '01): 42,051
- Gulf War II (Sep '01 or later): 38,290

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MSgt Preston Chasteen // wikimedia

#11. Oklahoma

Veterans Percent: 9.4% of civilians 18 years or older
Total Veterans: 275,808
- World War II: 8,749
- Korean War: 22,456
- Vietnam War: 102,588
- Gulf War I (Aug '90 - Aug '01): 58,870
- Gulf War II (Sep '01 or later): 56,271

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Jake DeGroot // Wikimedia

#10. South Dakota

Veterans Percent: 9.5% of civilians 18 years or older
Total Veterans: 61,405
- World War II: 1,437
- Korean War: 5,657
- Vietnam War: 21,702
- Gulf War I (Aug '90 - Aug '01): 13,041
- Gulf War II (Sep '01 or later): 12,092

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Susilyn // Shutterstock

#9. West Virginia

Veterans Percent: 9.5% of civilians 18 years or older
Total Veterans: 137,939
- World War II: 5,762
- Korean War: 11,826
- Vietnam War: 56,078
- Gulf War I (Aug '90 - Aug '01): 22,762
- Gulf War II (Sep '01 or later): 19,555

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yeowatzup // wikimeida

#8. Washington

Veterans Percent: 9.6% of civilians 18 years or older
Total Veterans: 537,385
- World War II: 20,097
- Korean War: 38,527
- Vietnam War: 196,101
- Gulf War I (Aug '90 - Aug '01): 125,633
- Gulf War II (Sep '01 or later): 111,941

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Linda Hosek // wikimedia

#7. Maine

Veterans Percent: 9.6% of civilians 18 years or older
Total Veterans: 102,948
- World War II: 6,802
- Korean War: 10,016
- Vietnam War: 39,938
- Gulf War I (Aug '90 - Aug '01): 18,530
- Gulf War II (Sep '01 or later): 11,827

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SSgt Rasheen Douglas // wikimedia

#6. South Carolina

Veterans Percent: 9.6% of civilians 18 years or older
Total Veterans: 367,504
- World War II: 9,379
- Korean War: 27,288
- Vietnam War: 139,158
- Gulf War I (Aug '90 - Aug '01): 87,026
- Gulf War II (Sep '01 or later): 74,266

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Staff Sgt. Jason Fudge // wikimedia

#5. Hawaii

Veterans Percent: 9.7% of civilians 18 years or older
Total Veterans: 104,719
- World War II: 3,622
- Korean War: 7,431
- Vietnam War: 34,650
- Gulf War I (Aug '90 - Aug '01): 22,136
- Gulf War II (Sep '01 or later): 31,882

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U.S. Navy photo by Photographer’s Mate 3rd Class Brian Stueber // wikimedia

#4. Virginia

Veterans Percent: 10.4% of civilians 18 years or older
Total Veterans: 671,080
- World War II: 18,844
- Korean War: 39,889
- Vietnam War: 205,464
- Gulf War I (Aug '90 - Aug '01): 224,425
- Gulf War II (Sep '01 or later): 197,250

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Joseph Sohm // Shutterstock

#3. Montana

Veterans Percent: 10.5% of civilians 18 years or older
Total Veterans: 85,461
- World War II: 3,620
- Korean War: 7,167
- Vietnam War: 32,101
- Gulf War I (Aug '90 - Aug '01): 16,959
- Gulf War II (Sep '01 or later): 15,010

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Idawriter // Wikimedia

#2. Wyoming

Veterans Percent: 10.7% of civilians 18 years or older
Total Veterans: 47,535
- World War II: 1,293
- Korean War: 3,440
- Vietnam War: 17,727
- Gulf War I (Aug '90 - Aug '01): 10,701
- Gulf War II (Sep '01 or later): 9,079

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An Errant Knight // Wikimedia

#1. Alaska

Veterans Percent: 12.2% of civilians 18 years or older
Total Veterans: 65,814
- World War II: 695
- Korean War: 2,011
- Vietnam War: 19,026
- Gulf War I (Aug '90 - Aug '01): 20,730
- Gulf War II (Sep '01 or later): 22,691

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