ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10)- The number of veterans in the United States decreased slightly in the past year according to the United States Census Bureau’s 2018 American Community Survey. The number of women veterans rose to a new high.
It’s a trend that the Census Bureau has seen since 1980 when just 3.9 percent of the veteran population was female. The numbers have increased steadily since then to 9.4 percent in 2018. It’s an increase of .6 percent from 2017’s 8.8 percent.
The total number of veterans in the U.S. was 18 million in last year’s survey, down from 18.2 according to 2017’s survey. Women made up 1.7 million of the veteran population in 2018, up from 1.6 million in 2017. In New York, the percentage of women veterans is lower than the national average at 6.8 percent.
With the exception of Schenectady and Warren counties, the percentages in Albany, Rensselaer and Saratoga counties don’t deviate far from the state average where between 6.2 to 6.9 percent of veterans are women. Warren County has a much lower average with 3.5 percent. Schenectady County is higher than the national average at 10.5 percent.
Diversity is also on the rise among veterans. Minorities, including Hispanics, grew from 18.7 to 19.2 percent of the total veteran population between 2017 and 2018. In N.Y. the percentage is a little bit higher, 24.4 percent of the veteran population belonged to a minority group in 2017 and 25.2 percent in 2018.
Veterans 65 years or older continue to be the largest age group. They’ve made up 50 percent of the veteran population for two years running. N.Y. is higher than the national average with 57.1 percent of the veteran population older than 65. Veterans aged 18-34 years old continue to hold the smallest number of individuals both nationally and in N.Y.
The number of disabled veterans nationally decreased from 29.5 to 29.3 percent over the past year. In N.Y. it also decreased from 28.7 to 28.4 percent. Vietnam era veterans have the greatest amount of individuals that served in any one war starting with World War II. In N.Y. they represent 35.5 percent of the veteran populace.