Veterans

Veterans are people who once served in the military and left active service in any other way than dishonorably.

Data Updated January 19, 2023
Table of Contents

What are the basic facts?

There are many ways to measure the state of veterans in the US: demographics, the services provided, and outcome data, including unemployment rates and educational attainment. This page showcases some of these measures to answer some fundamental questions and directs you to data to develop an understanding of veterans' status today.

What is the role of the government in supporting veterans?

Government spending

In fiscal year 2020, governments spent a combined total of $249.4 billion on supporting veterans.

That’s $752 per person in the US.

USAFacts categorizes government budget data to allocate spending appropriately, and to arrive at the estimate presented here. Spending on veterans includes support services for housing, readjustment to civilian life, pensions, and medical care. As the overall veteran population ages, spending on veteran services has increased in recent years. Governments spent about $15,000 per veteran in fiscal year 2020.

Government revenue and expenditures are based on data from the Office of Management and Budget, the Census Bureau, and the Bureau of Economic Analysis. Each is published annually, although due to collection times, state and local government data are not as current as federal data. Thus, when combining federal, state, and local revenues and expenditures, the most recent year for a combined number may be delayed.

Key government actors

Level of government
Key actors
Responsibilities

Federal

Department of Veterans Affairs

Manage programs and aid for veterans including hospitals, education grants, employment assistance

State/local

State veteran services departments

Provide additional assistance to veterans including benefit information and legal representation

Level of government

Federal

State/local

More on veterans from USAFacts

Related content