Friday, November 8, 2013

Who are Utah’s Veterans?

Lecia Langston, Economist

With Veteran’s day looming around the corner, the time seems right to examine the demographics of Utah’s veterans.

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According to the American Community Survey (2007-2011), Utah is home to roughly 148,000 veterans. Roughly 8 percent of Utah’s population over the age of 18 can claim military service, somewhat lower than the national average of 10 percent. Is Utah less patriotic than other states? No, just younger. Older populations were more likely to have participated in the military due to the inclusive nature of World War II and the Vietnam War. (For detailed veteran data by county, be sure to “read more.”)
• Counties with older populations tend to show higher concentrations of veterans. Piute, Kane, Garfield, Morgan and Daggett counties all maintain veteran populations of 13 percent or greater of the population 18 and older.

• Utah, San Juan, Cache, Wasatch and Salt Lake counties show the lowest share of veterans (7 percent or less). • Male veterans far outnumber female veterans. Only 6 percent of the state’s total veterans are female.

• Veterans tend to be older rather than younger. Two-thirds of Utah’s veterans rank as 55 years or older. Less than 10 percent of the state’s veterans are younger than 35.

• Vietnam-era vets comprise more than one-third of Utah’s total veterans. The next largest service group is the first Gulf War era (8/1990 to 8/2001) with 16 percent of vets. The most recent service period (post-9-11) accounts for 12 percent of veterans—the same share as Korean War veterans. World War II vets comprise 11 percent of Utah’s veterans.

• Utah’s veterans are more likely to have achieved a higher level of educational attainment (those 25 years and older) than nonveterans. Roughly 33 percent of veterans have a bachelor’s degree or higher compared to 29 percent of the total population.

 • Veterans (79 percent) are slightly more likely to participate in the labor force than their nonveteran peers (78 percent).

• Both male and female veterans show substantially higher incomes than their nonveteran counterparts. Male veterans show a median annual income of $41,000 compared to $35,000 for nonveterans. Female veteran’s incomes outpace their female counterpart’s incomes by more than $10,000.

• In Beaver, Sevier, Piute, Rich, Washington and Juab counties, World War II veterans account for almost 20 percent of total veterans.

• Tooele, Summit and Morgan counties show the smallest shares of World War II veterans.

• Post-9-11 veterans can be found in the highest concentrations in Davis, Utah, Morgan and Weber counties.

• Wasatch, Morgan, Carbon, Piute and Iron counties maintain the largest shares of Vietnam-era veterans.

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