Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Rural veterans are getting older as overall population of rural veterans continues to shrink

The average age of rural veterans is on the rise, while their overall population continues to decrease, Tim Marema reports for the Daily Yonder. The Economic Research Service of the U.S. Department of Agriculture reports that from 1992 to 2011 the number of rural veterans declined from 6.6. million to 3.9 million, and about half of all rural veterans are 65 years or older. (ERS graphics)
Part of the decline in population can be attributed to some former non-metropolitan counties' re-classification as metro and the overall decrease in number of military personnel since 1990, Marema writes. The biggest problem, Marema writes, is the increasing age gap among rural veterans; less than 3 percent of all rural veterans are between the ages of 18 and 34. Among the overall rural population, about 25 percent of residents 65 and older are veterans, while only about 5 percent in the 18 to 34 age range are veterans. (Read more)
More than 40 percent of rural female veterans served during the Iraq or Afghanistan wars, while less than 5 percent of rural male veterans served in those wars, the report states. "Among rural veterans in 2011, racial/ethnic minorities made up 4 percent of WWII veterans, 5 percent of Korean War veterans, 8 percent of Vietnam-era veterans and 16 percent of Gulf War I and II veterans." To read the full report, click here.

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