Veterans Day Facts

With Veterans Day coming up this week, we thought this would be a great chance to learn more about how the holiday started and why it’s observed in the United States.

Veterans Day was actually established as “Armistice Day” in 1919, which marked the end of World War I, and eventually became a national holiday in 1938.  President Eisenhower signed legislation in 1954 to change the name to Veterans Day, in order to be inclusive of all veterans of the U.S. Armed Forces.

As you can imagine, there are millions of military veterans currently living in the United States. According to the 2016 American Community Survey, there were 18.5 million military veterans living in the U.S., with 1.6 million of them being female veterans.  Three states have a population that includes one million or more veterans:  California, Texas and Florida.

When the survey was conducted in 2016, there were 9.2 million veterans age 65 and older living in the United States.  In contrast, there were 1.6 million younger than age 35.


US population of Veterans chart


Here are some more interesting figures from that survey:

7.1 million    Number of Gulf War veterans (counting 1990-present)

6.7 million    Number of Vietnam Era veterans

1.6 million   Number of Korean War veterans

768,000        Number of WWII veterans

2.4 million   Number of peacetime only veterans