This blog is intended to go along with Population: An Introduction to Concepts and Issues, by John R. Weeks, published by Cengage Learning. The latest edition is the 12th (it came out in 2015), but this blog is meant to complement any edition of the book by showing the way in which demographic issues are regularly in the news.

If you are a user of my textbook and would like to suggest a blog post idea, please email me at: john.weeks@sdsu.edu

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Veteran Demographics

In time for this year's Veteran's Day, the Veteran's Administration is undergoing a long-needed overhaul to provide help to the nation's veteran population (defined as anyone who was in the military and is now separated from the military). The greatest need is for health care because, according to VA data, 45 percent of the nation's 22 million veterans are aged 65 or older. This aging aspect of the veteran population also helps to explain a Census Bureau Infographic about the veteran population derived from responses to the American Community Survey. Those data show that veterans are overwhelmingly non-Hispanic white and have average incomes significantly higher than for non-veterans. Since veterans are also overwhelmingly males (93%!), you might come away from this thinking that the demographics of veterans in this country are very similar to members of Congress--older, higher income white guys! On the street, at least, veterans are much more popular than members of Congress (although there are many veterans in Congress, including my own member of the House)--which is why it is so amazing that Congress had let the VA fall into such disrepair, requiring an emergency cleanup by the Obama Administration.

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