Get unbiased data and visuals on military recruitment, veterans, border security, and foreign affairs. These reports use government sources to help Americans understand national security and defense.
Current selection: Defense and security — veterans
Over 93% of the Department of Veterans Affairs’ annual spending funds pensions, compensation, medical care, and education programs for veterans.
Enlistment numbers have steadily dropped for the past 40 years. More than 148,318 people enlisted in the US armed forces in 2020, a 59% decline from 1980.
The 16.2 million veterans in the US in 2022 earn a higher median income and have lower rates of unemployment and poverty than the general population.
Spending is increasing due to an aging population and more veterans seeking care for severe disabilities.