This study examines key socioeconomic and demographic trends among non-active duty veterans in the New York metropolitan area who served in the U.S. armed forces during the post-9/11 era. To achieve a richer understanding of the conditions former servicemen and servicewomen face as they transition into civilian life, this report looks at topics such as sex, race/ethnicity, age, employment status, income, poverty rates, and educational attainment between 2007 and 2017.
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, 2017. “9/11 Veteran” is defined in this report as any civilian who served in the United States Armed Forces (Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, or Coast Guard) from 2001 forward. Current reserve and active duty military personnel are not included in these data. The metropolitan area includes New York City, Long Island, and the Mid and Lower Hudson Valley; the five largest cities in New Jersey: Newark, Jersey City, Paterson, Elizabeth, and Edison, and their vicinities; six cities in Connecticut: Bridgeport, New Haven, Stamford, Waterbury, Norwalk, and Danbury, and their vicinities.
9/11 era veterans in the New York metropolitan area performed well above their non-veteran counterparts in most socio-economic categories. The data indicate that between 2007 and 2017 employment, income, and educational attainment rates were consistently higher, and poverty rates consistently lower, than those of the metro area’s general population. These trends held relatively firm during the financial crisis of 2008 and as the veteran population continued to grow into the 2010s. In short, there is considerable evidence within this report to affirm that serving in the armed forces continues to have a direct correlation with greater socio-economic success. This correlation is particularly stark among Latinos and non-Hispanic blacks, where the variances between their non-veteran counterparts are prevalent in income, employment, poverty rates, and educational attainment.