This study examines key socio-economic and demographic trends among non-active duty American veterans who served in the armed forces during the post-9/11 era. It focuses on nationwide developments between 2005 and 2015. To achieve a richer understanding of the conditions facing former servicemen and servicewomen as they transition into civilian life, this examination moves beyond general population demographics by looking at topics such as sex, race/ethnicity, age, employment, income, poverty rates, and educational attainment.
This report uses the American Community Survey PUMS (Public Use Microdata Series) data for all years released by the Census Bureau and reorganized for public use by the Minnesota Population Center, University of Minnesota, IPUMSusa, (https://usa.ipums.org/usa/index.shtml). See Public Use Microdata Series Steven Ruggles, J. Trent Alexander, Katie Genadek, Ronald Goeken, Matthew B. Schroeder, and Matthew Sobek. Integrated Public Use Microdata Series: Version 5.0 [Machine-readable database]. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota, 2015.
On the whole, 9/11 era veterans performed well above the national average in most socio-economic categories. The data indicate that between 2005 and 2015employment, income, and educational attainment rates were consistently higher, and poverty rates consistently lower, than general nationwide rates. These trends held relatively firm during the financial crisis of 2008 and as the veteran population continued to grow exponentially over time.In short, there is considerable evidence hereto affirm that serving in the armed forces continues to have a direct correlation with greater socio-economic success.