Friday, July 01, 2016

Rural areas lost 1.1 million veterans in 2007-14

Members of the armed services come disproportionately from rural America, but most don't return when they leave. The count of rural veterans continues its rapid decline, despite an overall increase in the number of veterans since 9/11, says a report by the Economic Research Service of the U.S. Department of Agriculture(USDA graphic)

In 2014, 3.4 million veterans lived in rural areas, down from 4.5 million in 2007, "despite an influx of more than 100,000 post-9/11 veterans over the same period." The biggest decline is among World War II veterans, whose numbers dropped by 400,000 in rural areas from 2007-2014. Numbers are expected to continue to decline, "as the newest veteran cohorts have overwhelmingly returned to urban areas and the current rural veteran population ages."

The rural share of rural World War II veterans declined to 16.8 percent in 2014 from 20.2 percent in 2007, Tim Marema reports for the Daily Yonder. "Nationally, about 1.6 million WW2 veterans died from 2007 to 2014, according to a report published by the World War 2 Memorial in New Orleans. Most of the living WW2 vets are in their 90s now, according to the report. Only 700,000 of the 16 million Americans who served in the war are still living." The rural share of Korean veterans dropped to 18.8 percent from 21.4 percent, and that of Gulf War veterans dropped to 13.4 percent from 16.2 percent. (Read more)

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