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Features for Senior Citizens

Where Senior Veterans Get Health Care and More About U.S. Military Veterans on Their Day in 2013

Military veterans honored today with parades and speeches across the nation, national ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknowns at Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia

Nov. 11, 2013 - A hot topic on this Veterans Day is health care. Where to vets who are senior citizens get their health care? The number of veterans age 65 and over covered by Medicare; 4.1 million covered by employer-sponsored health insurance; 3.1 million covered by VA health care; 3.1 million covered by direct-purchase insurance; 1.3 million covered by TRICARE; and 878,00 covered by Medicaid. These numbers are not mutually exclusive. Individuals can have more than one type of health insurance coverage.

There is more about health care for vets below.

Veterans Day originated as "Armistice Day" on Nov. 11, 1919, the first anniversary of the end of World War I. Congress passed a resolution in 1926 for an annual observance, and Nov. 11 became a national holiday beginning in 1938.

President Dwight D. Eisenhower signed legislation in 1954 to change the name to Veterans Day as a way to honor those who served in all American wars. The day honors military veterans with parades and speeches across the nation. A national ceremony takes place at the Tomb of the Unknowns at Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia.

Veterans

21.2 million

Number of military veterans in the United States in 2012.
Source: 2010-2012 American Community Survey
< http://factfinder2.census.gov/bkmk/table/1.0/en/ACS/12_1YR/DP02/0100000US>

1.6 million

Number of female veterans in the United States in 2012.
Source: 2012 American Community Survey
< http://factfinder2.census.gov/bkmk/table/1.0/en/ACS/12_1YR/B21001/0100000US>

11.3%

Percent of black veterans in 2012. Additionally, 5.7 percent were Hispanic; 1.3 percent were Asian; 0.8 percent were American Indian or Alaska Native; 0.2 percent were Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander; and 79.6 percent were non-Hispanic white. (The numbers for blacks, Asians, American Indians and Alaska Natives, Native Hawaiians and Other Pacific Islanders, and non-Hispanic whites cover only those reporting a single race.)
Source: 2012 American Community Survey
< http://factfinder2.census.gov/bkmk/table/1.0/en/ACS/12_1YR/S2101>

9.6 million

Number of veterans 65 and older in 2012. At the other end of the age spectrum, 1.8 million were younger than 35.
Source: 2012 American Community Survey
< http://factfinder2.census.gov/bkmk/table/1.0/en/ACS/12_1YR/B21001/0100000US>

When They Served

7.4 million

Number of Vietnam-era veterans in 2012. Moreover, there were 5.4 million who served during the Gulf Wars (representing service from August 1990 to present); 1.6 million who served in World War II (1941-1945); 2.3 million who served in the Korean War (1950-1953); and 5.3 million who served in peacetime only.
Source: 2012 American Community Survey
< http://factfinder2.census.gov/bkmk/table/1.0/en/ACS/12_1YR/B21002>

54,117

Number of living veterans in 2012 who served during the Vietnam era and both Gulf War eras and no other period. Other living veterans in 2012 who served during three wars:

  • The number who served during World War II, the Korean War and the Vietnam era, 50,004, was not statistically different than the number who served during the Vietnam era and both Gulf War eras.

Living veterans in 2012 who served during two wars and no other period:

  • 933,315 served during both Gulf War eras.

  • 307,376 served during both Gulf War (August 1990 to August 2001) and Vietnam era.

  • 209,183 served during both the Korean War and the Vietnam era.

  • 113,269 served during both World War II and the Korean War.

Sources: 2012 American Community Survey
< http://factfinder2.census.gov/bkmk/table/1.0/en/ACS/12_1YR/B21002>

Where They Live

3

Number of states with 1 million or more veterans in 2012. These states were California (1.9 million), Texas (1.6 million) and Florida (1.6 million).
Source: 2012 American Community Survey
< http://factfinder2.census.gov/bkmk/table/1.0/en/ACS/12_1YR/S2101/0100000US.04000>

13.6%

Percent of people 18 years and older in Alaska who were veterans in 2012; this is the highest percentage of veterans of any state. Montana followed with 12.7 percent.
Source: 2012 American Community Survey
< http://factfinder2.census.gov/bkmk/table/1.0/en/ACS/12_1YR/R2101.US01PRF>

Education

26.7%

Percent of veterans 25 and older with at least a bachelor's degree in 2012. In comparison, 29.1 percent of the total population had a bachelor's degree or higher.
Source: 2012 American Community Survey
< http://factfinder2.census.gov/bkmk/table/1.0/en/ACS/12_1YR/B21003>

29.2%

Percent of veterans 25 and older with a high school diploma in 2012, compared with the 28.0 percent of the population as a whole.
Source: 2012 American Community Survey
< http://factfinder2.census.gov/bkmk/table/1.0/en/ACS/12_1YR/B21003>

Income

$36,264

Annual median income of veterans in 2012, compared with $26,278 for the population as a whole.
Source: 2012 American Community Survey
< http://factfinder2.census.gov/bkmk/table/1.0/en/ACS/05_EST/B21004>

On the Job

8.7 million

Number of veterans 18 to 64 in the labor force in 2012.
Source: 2012 American Community Survey
< http://factfinder2.census.gov/bkmk/table/1.0/en/ACS/12_1YR/C21005>

Service Connected Disabilities

3.6 million

Number of veterans with a service-connected disability rating in 2012. Of this number, 881,981 had a rating of 70 percent or higher. A "service-connected" disability is one that was a result of a disease or injury incurred or aggravated during active military service. Severity of one's disability is scaled from 0 to 100 percent, and eligibility for compensation depends on one's rating.

Voting

14.7 million

Number of veterans who voted in the 2012 presidential election. Seventy percent of veterans cast a ballot in the presidential election.
Source: Table13. Reported Voting and Registration, by Sex, Veteran Status, and Age: November 2012
< http://www.census.gov/hhes/www/socdemo/voting/publications/p20/2012/tables.html>

12.4 million

Number of veterans who voted in the 2010 congressional election. Fifty-seven percent of veterans voted in the 2010 congressional election.
Source: Table13. Table13. Reported Voting and Registration, by Sex, Veteran Status, and Age: November 2010
< http://www.census.gov/hhes/www/socdemo/voting/publications/p20/2010/tables.html>

click for larger viewHealth Insurance Coverage

1 in 4

The ratio of veterans under the age of 65 who had multiple types of health insurance coverage; four out of five veterans 65 and over had more than one type of health insurance coverage. Source: 2012 American Community Survey microdata

11.1 million

The number of veterans 18 years and over covered by employer-sponsored health insurance; 9.9 million covered by Medicare; 6.1 million covered by VA health care; 4.0 million covered by direct purchase insurance; 3.1 million covered by TRICARE; and 1.7 million covered by Medicaid. These numbers are not mutually exclusive. Individuals can have more than one type of health insurance coverage.
Source: 2012 American Community Survey microdata

9.2 million

The number of veterans age 65 and over covered by Medicare; 4.1 million covered by employer-sponsored health insurance; 3.1 million covered by VA health care; 3.1 million covered by direct-purchase insurance; 1.3 million covered by TRICARE; and 878,00 covered by Medicaid. These numbers are not mutually exclusive. Individuals can have more than one type of health insurance coverage.
Source: 2012 American Community Survey microdata

1.2 million

The number of veterans 18 year and over who lacked health insurance in 2012. Of this number, 15,700 were veterans age 65 and over.
Source: 2012 American Community Survey microdata

Note: These estimates include the civilian noninstitutionalized population of veterans 18 years and over living in the U.S. and Puerto Rico. They exclude active-duty military personnel and the population living in correctional facilities and nursing homes.

Editor’s note: The preceding data were collected from a variety of sources and may be subject to sampling variability and other sources of error. Facts for Features are customarily released about two months before an observance in order to accommodate magazine production timelines.

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