23.6 million: the number of military veterans in the United States in 2007

Tomorrow marks the annual observation of Veterans Day, a time to honor all the American men and women who have served our country during wars. Veterans Day originated as “Armistice Day” on Nov. 11, 1919, the first anniversary of the end of World War I. It became an annual observance in 1926 when Congress passed a resolution, and a national holiday beginning in 1938. President Dwight D. Eisenhower changed the holiday’s name to Veterans Day in 1954. Since then, it has evolved into a national day when citizens thank living military veterans with parades and speeches across the nation.

1.8 million

The number of female veterans in 2007.

72.8 billion

Total amount of federal government spending for veterans benefits programs in fiscal year 2006. Of this total, $34.6 billion went to compensation and pensions, $33.7 billion for medical programs and the remainder to other programs, such as vocational rehabilitation and education.

6 million

The number of veterans with a disability.

10.7 million

Number of veterans 18 to 64 in the labor force in 2007.

9.3 million

The number of veterans 65 and older in 2007.

At the other end of the spectrum, 1.9 million were younger than 35.

Other living veterans in 2007 who served during two or more wars:


served during both the Korean and Vietnam wars.


served during three periods:

World War II, the Korean War and the Vietnam War.


served during World War II and the Korean War.

source: Census Bureau