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15 Cities With the Most Military Families

Military family
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Editor’s Note: This story originally appeared on Filterbuy.

Millions of Americans are employed as active-duty military or serve in the Reserves and National Guard. While a much smaller proportion of Americans holds positions in the U.S. Armed Forces than in years past, a large number of Americans still have direct ties to the military.

According to data from the U.S. Census Bureau, 3.2% of the U.S. population lives in a military household with at least one active-duty member of a branch of the military, U.S. Reserve, or National Guard.

U.S. military demographics have changed dramatically over time as well. Today, a much larger share of women serve — female enlistees account for 16% of enlisted forces, up from 2% in 1973, while the share of female officers has increased from 8% in 1973 to 19%.

As U.S. military demographics change over time, so does the share of Americans who are part of a military family. To determine the U.S. metropolitan areas with the most military families, researchers at Filterbuy analyzed the latest data from the U.S. Census Bureau.

The researchers ranked metros according to the percentage of the population in a military household — defined as one in which at least one household member currently serves in the military, reserves, or guard. Researchers also calculated the percentage of the population who are active-duty military personnel, the percentage of the population who are veterans, the percentage of the population who are in the reserves or guard, and the military branch with the largest active presence.

Here are the metros with the most military families.

15. Buffalo-Cheektowaga-Niagara Falls, NY

Buffalo, New York
Atomazul / Shutterstock.com

Percentage of population in a military household: 3.4%

Percentage of population who are active duty: 0.1%

Percentage of population who are veterans: 5.8%

Percentage of population in U.S. Reserve/National Guard: 1.2%

Military branch with largest active presence: Army

14. Providence-Warwick, RI-MA

Providence, Rhode Island
Sean Pavone / Shutterstock.com

Percentage of population in a military household: 3.7%

Percentage of population who are active duty: 0.1%

Percentage of population who are veterans: 4.9%

Percentage of population in U.S. Reserve/National Guard: 1.3%

Military branch with largest active presence: Navy

13. Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV

U.S. Capitol
Orhan Cam / Shutterstock.com

Percentage of population in a military household: 3.7%

Percentage of population who are active duty: 0.6%

Percentage of population who are veterans: 6.0%

Percentage of population in the U.S. Reserve/National Guard: 0.7%

Military branch with largest active presence: Army

12. New Orleans-Metairie, LA

New Orleans
Sean Pavone / Shutterstock.com

Percentage of population in a military household: 3.9%

Percentage of population who are active duty: 0.3%

Percentage of population who are veterans: 4.6%

Percentage of population in the U.S. Reserve/National Guard: 1.2%

Military branch with largest active presence: Army

11. Kansas City, MO-KS

Kansas City Missouri traffic highways
Real Window Creative / Shutterstock.com

Percentage of population in a military household: 3.9%

Percentage of population who are active duty: 0.4%

Percentage of population who are veterans: 5.9%

Percentage of population in the Reserve/National Guard: 1.2%

Military branch with largest active presence: Army

10. Omaha-Council Bluffs, NE-IA

Omaha, Nebraska traffic highways
Aspects and Angles / Shutterstock.com

Percentage of population in a military household: 4.0%

Percentage of population who are active duty: 0.4%

Percentage of population who are veterans: 6.8%

Percentage of population in the U.S. Reserve/National Guard: 1.1%

Military branch with largest active presence: Air Force

9. Birmingham-Hoover, AL

ESB Professional / Shutterstock.com

Percentage of population in a military household: 4.0%

Percentage of population who are active duty: 0.1%

Percentage of population who are veterans: 5.7%

Percentage of population in the U.S. Reserve/National Guard: 1.5%

Military branch with largest active presence: Air Force

8. Baltimore-Columbia-Towson, MD

Baltimore
f11photo / Shutterstock.com

Percentage of population in a military household: 4.3%

Percentage of population who are active duty: 0.5%

Percentage of population who are veterans: 6.1%

Percentage of population in the U.S. Reserve/National Guard: 1.1%

Military branch with largest active presence: Navy

7. Tucson, AZ

Tucson, Arizona
Sean-Pavone / Shutterstock.com

Percentage of population in a military household: 4.4%

Percentage of population who are active duty: 0.7%

Percentage of population who are veterans: 7.5%

Percentage of population in the U.S. Reserve/National Guard: 1.1%

Military branch with largest active presence: Air Force

6. Jacksonville, FL

Jacksonville, Florida
Sean Pavone / Shutterstock.com

Percentage of population in a military household: 4.4%

Percentage of population who are active duty: 0.9%

Percentage of population who are veterans: 8.9%

Percentage of population in the U.S. Reserve/National Guard: 1.0%

Military branch with largest active presence: Navy

5. Richmond, VA

Richmond, Virginia
ESB Professional / Shutterstock.com

Percentage of population in a military household: 4.5%

Percentage of population who are active duty: 0.5%

Percentage of population who are veterans: 6.0%

Percentage of population in the U.S. Reserve/National Guard: 1.3%

Military branch with largest active presence: Army

4. Oklahoma City, OK

Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
Austin Urton / Shutterstock.com

Percentage of population in a military household: 4.5%

Percentage of population who are active duty: 0.4%

Percentage of population who are veterans: 6.5%

Percentage of population in the U.S. Reserve/National Guard: 1.3%

Military branch with largest active presence: Air Force

3. San Antonio-New Braunfels, TX

San Antonio at night.
f11 photo / Shutterstock.com

Percentage of population in a military household: 5.4%

Percentage of population who are active duty: 0.6%

Percentage of population who are veterans: 7.4%

Percentage of population in the U.S. Reserve/National Guard: 1.2%

Military branch with largest active presence: Air Force

2. San Diego-Carlsbad, CA

Sean Pavone / Shutterstock.com

Percentage of population in a military household: 5.6%

Percentage of population who are active duty: 1.4%

Percentage of population who are veterans: 6.0%

Percentage of population in the U.S. Reserve/National Guard: 0.8%

Military branch with largest active presence: Navy

1. Virginia Beach-Norfolk-Newport News, VA-NC

Statue of King Neptune in Virginia Beach
JoMo333 / Shutterstock.com

Percentage of population in a military household: 11.6%

Percentage of population who are active duty: 3.4%

Percentage of population who are veterans: 11.4%

Percentage of population in the U.S. Reserve/National Guard: 1.0%

Military branch with largest active presence: Navy

Methodology

Man analyzing data on a laptop
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To determine the U.S. metropolitan areas with the most military families, researchers at Filterbuy analyzed data from the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2019 American Community Survey Public Use Microdata Sample. The researchers ranked metros according to the percentage of the population in a military household — defined as one in which at least one household member currently serves in a branch of the military, U.S. Reserve, or National Guard. In the event of a tie, the metro with the greater total number of military households was ranked higher. Researchers also calculated the percentage of the population who are active-duty military personnel, the percentage of the population who are veterans, the percentage of the population who are in the U.S. Reserve or National Guard, and the military branch with the largest active presence.

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