In 1980, there were more than 28 million veterans and more than 2 million active-duty service members. By 2010, the number fell to 22 million and 1.4 million on active duty, Western Washington University sociologist Jay Teachman found after U.S. Census data analysis. The U.S. population grew by 80 million from 1980 to 2010, making veterans' share of the population drop to 7 percent from 12 percent over that time. Teachman's maps illustrating the decline of veterans "suggest that service in the military has increasingly become something for rural Americans to do," Badger reports.
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