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August 7, 2023

How Many Veterans Are There? [2023 Veteran Statistics]

Last updated on August 10, 2023

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How many veterans are there in the world?

According to our research and analysis there are 18,592,457 veterans in 2023.

The total number of veterans continues to decline year over year and is projected to hit an all-time low of 11,858,410 veterans by 2050 (a decrease of 35.02% from 2023 to 2050).

Key Findings of Our Research:

200,000 service members transition from active duty to civilian life each year
  • ~200,000 service members transition from active duty to civilian life each year
  • Total number of veterans in 2023: 18,592,457
  • Estimated total number of veterans in 2050: 11,858,410
  • Estimated decrease in the total veteran population from 2023 to 2050: -35.02%
  • Average estimated decrease in the total veteran population year over year: -1.65%
  • Total number of veterans with VA service connected disabilities: 5,417,012
  • Total number of homeless veterans: 67,495
  • Veterans comprise 10.6% of all homeless in the U.S.
  • Veterans are more than 2x as likely to become homeless than those who didn’t serve in the military
  • Texas has the #1 largest veteran population, followed by California at #2 and Florida at #3

How Many Transitioning Service Members Are There?

How Many Transitioning Service Members Are There

An average of 200,000 service members leaves the military and return to life as civilians.

According to the most recent Transition Assistance Program (TAP) numbers, 164,378 service members transitioned from military service to civilian life in FY 2022.

How Many Veterans Are There?

How Many Veterans Are There

In 2023, there are 18,592,457 million veterans.

The veteran population is on a steady decline year-over-year and is estimated to hit a low of 11,858,410 by 2050.

How Many Disabled Veterans Are There?

How Many Disabled Veterans Are There

In 2023, there is an estimated 14,873,966 disabled veterans, which is roughly 80% of the total veteran population.

According to the VA, 5,417,012 disabled veterans receive service connected disability benefits between 0% and 100%.

Note: “Disabled Veteran” is defined as a veteran who is eligible to receive some amount of VA disability benefits between 0% and 100%.

How Many 100 Percent Disabled Veterans Are There?

How Many 100 Percent Disabled Veterans Are There

According to the VA, 1,107,440 disabled veterans have a 100 percent VA disability rating, which represents 20.44% of the total number of veterans with a service connected VA rating of 0% or higher.

How Many Homeless Veterans Are There?

How Many Homeless Veterans Are There

In 2023, there are 67,495 homeless veterans.

Veterans comprise 10.6% of all homeless in the U.S. and are 2x as likely to become homeless versus those who didn’t serve in the military.

How Many Veterans Live in Poverty?

How Many Veterans Live in Poverty

In 2023, more than 1,000,000 veterans live in poverty.

Note: “Poverty” is defined as living at or below the DOL and HHS poverty line

VA Budget 2024: How Much Does the VA Pay for Veteran Benefits Each Year?

VA Budget 2024

The VA has requested a total of $325.1 billion in FY 2024, which is a 5.4 percent increase above FY 2023 budget.

In FY 2022, here is what the VA spent on Veteran Benefits across its 7 primary benefits programs:

VA Disability Compensation Benefits $120.7 Billion Paid | 5,417,012 VA Disability Recipients

VA disability compensation provides tax-free monthly benefits in recognition of the effects of disabilities caused by diseases, events, or injuries incurred or aggravated during active military service.

The program also provides monthly payments to surviving spouses, dependent children, and dependent parents in recognition of the economic loss caused by the death of individuals during their military service or because of service-connected disability after their discharge.

VA Pension & Fiduciary Benefits $3.6 Billion Paid | 299,709 VA Pension Recipients

VA pension is a needs-based benefit designed to provide certain wartime Veterans and their survivors with a minimum level of income that raises their standard of living.

Wartime Veterans who are age 65 or older or have a permanent and total non-service connected disability, and who have limited income and net worth may be eligible.

The Fiduciary program provides oversight for VA’s most vulnerable beneficiaries who are unable to manage their own VA benefits.

VA Education Benefits $9.9 Billion Paid | 834,460 VA Education Recipients

VA education provides Veterans, Servicemembers, reservists, and certain family members of Veterans with educational resources to supplement opportunities missed because of military service.

These programs are also meant to help the Armed Forces both recruit and retrain members.

VA Insurance Benefits $2.0 Billion Paid| 5,600,000 VA Insurance Policies

VA insurance provides Servicemembers and their families with universally available life insurance and traumatic injury protection insurance.

Servicemembers may also convert their Group Life Insurance to a renewable term insurance policy after separation.

The program provides life insurance to Veterans who have lost their ability to purchase commercial insurance at standard healthy rates due to lost or impaired insurability resulting from military service.

VA Home Loan Benefits $256.6 Billion in Loans | 746,091 Loan Recipients

VA home loans provide help to eligible Veterans, active-duty personnel, surviving spouses, and members of the Reserves and National guard to purchase, retain, and adapt homes.

Want a great rate on your VA loan?

VA Veteran Readiness & Employment (VR&E) $1.5 Billion Paid | 124,437 VR&E Participants

The VR&E program, formerly known as “Voc Rehab,” provides comprehensive services and assistance necessary to enable Veterans with service-connected disabilities and an employment handicap to obtain stable and suitable employment.

It also assists Veterans to achieve maximum independence in daily living when the severity of their disability prohibits suitable employment.

VA Outreach, Transition, and Economic Development 68,847 Events | 285,927 Attendees

VA Outreach, Transition, and Economic Development eases Veterans transition from military service to civilian life.

This is primarily delivered through the DoD mandated Transition Assistance Program (TAP) classes.

The programs engage transitioning Servicemembers, Veterans, their families, and caregivers at each step of their transition journey.

The programs provide early access to VA benefits and resources by connecting them to a network of partners who are working together to accelerate their economic empowerment and well-being.

Here’s a list of the top 20 states for veterans by veteran population:

Most Popular Veteran StatesTotal Veteran Population
#1. Texas1,543,168
#2. California1,534,710
#3. Florida1,450,597
#4. Pennsylvania719,233
#5. Ohio695,454
#6. Virginia691,325
#7. New York688,611
#8. North Carolina687,364
#9. Georgia678,304
#10. Illinois569,448
#11. Washington533,346
#12. Michigan530,586
#13. Arizona498,546
#14. Tennessee444,482
#15. Missouri399,154
#16. South Carolina388,404
#17. Indiana388,083
#18. Colorado374,233
#19. Maryland355,787
#20. Alabama351,132

What is the Veteran Population By State in 2023?

Veteran Population By State
  • Alabama: Estimated total Veteran population: 351,132
  • Alaska: Estimated total Veteran population: 69,838
  • Arizona: Estimated total Veteran population: 498,546
  • Arkansas: Estimated total Veteran population: 204,197
  • California: Estimated total Veteran population: 1,534,710
  • Colorado: Estimated total Veteran population: 374,233
  • Connecticut: Estimated total Veteran population: 158,714
  • Delaware: Estimated total Veteran population: 68,675
  • District of Columbia: Estimated total Veteran population: 28,003
  • Florida: Estimated total Veteran population: 1,450,597
  • Georgia: Estimated total Veteran population: 678,304
  • Hawaii: Estimated total Veteran population: 107,210
  • Idaho: Estimated total Veteran population: 126,467
  • Illinois: Estimated total Veteran population: 569,448
  • Indiana: Estimated total Veteran population: 388,083
  • Iowa: Estimated total Veteran population: 182,640
  • Kansas: Estimated total Veteran population: 186,099
  • Kentucky: Estimated total Veteran population: 272,088
  • Louisiana: Estimated total Veteran population: 267,174
  • Maine: Estimated total Veteran population: 107,750
  • Maryland: Estimated total Veteran population: 355,787
  • Massachusetts: Estimated total Veteran population: 285,971
  • Michigan: Estimated total Veteran population: 530,586
  • Minnesota: Estimated total Veteran population: 294,232
  • Mississippi: Estimated total Veteran population: 181,855
  • Missouri: Estimated total Veteran population: 399,154
  • Montana: Estimated total Veteran population: 86,399
  • Nebraska: Estimated total Veteran population: 119,645
  • Nevada: Estimated total Veteran population: 216,626
  • New Hampshire: Estimated total Veteran population: 96,358
  • New Jersey: Estimated total Veteran population: 310,802
  • New Mexico: Estimated total Veteran population: 144,134
  • New York: Estimated total Veteran population: 688,611
  • North Carolina: Estimated total Veteran population: 687,364
  • North Dakota: Estimated total Veteran population: 50,834
  • Ohio: Estimated total Veteran population: 695,454
  • Oklahoma: Estimated total Veteran population: 281,728
  • Oregon: Estimated total Veteran population: 271,871
  • Pennsylvania: Estimated total Veteran population: 719,233
  • Rhode Island: Estimated total Veteran population: 58,026
  • South Carolina: Estimated total Veteran population: 388,404
  • South Dakota: Estimated total Veteran population: 63,322
  • Tennessee: Estimated total Veteran population: 444,482
  • Texas: Estimated total Veteran population: 1,543,168
  • Utah: Estimated total Veteran population: 128,922
  • Vermont: Estimated total Veteran population: 39,731
  • Virginia: Estimated total Veteran population: 691,325
  • Washington: Estimated total Veteran population: 533,346
  • West Virginia: Estimated total Veteran population: 128,326
  • Wisconsin: Estimated total Veteran population: 331,650
  • Wyoming: Estimated total Veteran population: 45,435
  • Puerto Rico: Estimated total Veteran population: 73,146
  • Philippines and Other Foreign Locations: Estimated total Veteran population: 82,619

Source Data:

About the Author

Brian Reese
Brian Reese

Brian Reese

Brian Reese is one of the top VA disability benefits experts in the world and bestselling author of You Deserve It: The Definitive Guide to Getting the Veteran Benefits You’ve Earned (Second Edition).

Brian’s frustration with the VA claim process led him to create VA Claims Insider, which provides disabled veterans with tips, strategies, and lessons learned to win their VA disability compensation claim, faster, even if they’ve already filed, been denied, gave up, or don’t know where to start. 

As the founder of VA Claims Insider and CEO of Military Disability Made Easy, he has helped serve more than 10 million military members and veterans since 2013 through free online educational resources.

He is a former active duty Air Force officer with extensive experience leading hundreds of individuals and multi-functional teams in challenging international environments, including a combat tour to Afghanistan in 2011 supporting Operation ENDURING FREEDOM.

Brian is a Distinguished Graduate of Management from the United States Air Force Academy, Colorado Springs, CO, and he holds an MBA from Oklahoma State University’s Spears School of Business, Stillwater, OK, where he was a National Honor Scholar (Top 1% of Graduate School class).

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