Take a fresh look at your lifestyle.

U.S. States With the Most World War II Veterans

U.S. veteran with American flag
Anthony Correia / Shutterstock.com

Editor’s Note: This story originally appeared on Porch.

The U.S. population of veterans boomed in the middle of the 20th century, with the introduction of a military draft in 1940 and the beginning of U.S. involvement in World War II the following year. In 1940, only 9% of adults had served in the military, but just one decade later, that figure had more than quadrupled to 37%. Between veterans of WWII, the Korean War in the 1950s, and the Vietnam War in the 1960s, the share of adult veterans peaked at 44% in 1970. Since then, however, the share of veterans has declined each decade. The draft was ended in 1973, and over time, the aging and passing of older generations of veterans have reduced the percentage of former service members.

World War II veterans totaled around 500,000 in the U.S. in 2020, but the U.S. Census Bureau estimates that by 2030, only 8,000 WWII veterans will remain. These veterans live in every state in the U.S., but large states like California (53,807), Florida (48,220), and New York (31,730) have the largest total counts of WWII veterans. However, as a share of the over-85 population, many smaller states have higher proportions of World War II veterans, with as many as 10% of the states’ oldest citizens having served in the war.

The data used in this analysis is from the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2020 American Community Survey. To determine the states with the most World War II veterans, researchers at Porch calculated the World War II veteran share of states’ 85-and-over population. In the event of a tie, the state with the greater World War II veteran share of the total veteran population was ranked higher.

Here are the states with the most WWII veterans.

15. Virginia

Virginia Capitol
Zack Frank / Shutterstock.com
  • WWII veteran share of the 85+ population: 8.5%
  • WWII veteran share of the total veteran population: 1.9%
  • Total WWII veterans: 12,672
  • Total veteran population: 674,242

14. Missouri

St. Louis, Missouri
Joseph Sohm / Shutterstock.com
  • WWII veteran share of the 85+ population: 8.5%
  • WWII veteran share of the total veteran population: 2.8%
  • Total WWII veterans: 11,083
  • Total veteran population: 391,513

13. Pennsylvania

Harrisburg Capital
Jon Bilous / Shutterstock.com
  • WWII veteran share of the 85+ population: 8.6%
  • WWII veteran share of the total veteran population: 4.0%
  • Total WWII veterans: 29,198
  • Total veteran population: 731,411

12. Rhode Island

Rhode Island Capitol
wolffpower / Shutterstock.com
  • WWII veteran share of the 85+ population: 8.6%
  • WWII veteran share of the total veteran population: 4.3%
  • Total WWII veterans: 2,233
  • Total veteran population: 52,128

11. Nevada

Nevada legislature
James Pintar / Shutterstock.com
  • WWII veteran share of the 85+ population: 8.7%
  • WWII veteran share of the total veteran population: 1.9%
  • Total WWII veterans: 3,957
  • Total veteran population: 205,659

10. Delaware

Jon Bilous / Shutterstock.com
  • WWII veteran share of the 85+ population: 8.7%
  • WWII veteran share of the total veteran population: 2.5%
  • Total WWII veterans: 1,630
  • Total veteran population: 65,065

9. Ohio

Columbus Ohio
f11photo / Shutterstock.com
  • WWII veteran share of the 85+ population: 8.7%
  • WWII veteran share of the total veteran population: 3.3%
  • Total WWII veterans: 22,627
  • Total veteran population: 685,905

8. New Mexico

New Mexico Capitol
Zack Frank / Shutterstock.com
  • WWII veteran share of the 85+ population: 8.8%
  • WWII veteran share of the total veteran population: 2.6%
  • Total WWII veterans: 3,661
  • Total veteran population: 141,558

7. Washington

Olympia, Washington
Real Window Creative / Shutterstock.com
  • WWII veteran share of the 85+ population: 9.0%
  • WWII veteran share of the total veteran population: 2.4%
  • Total WWII veterans: 12,364
  • Total veteran population: 517,912

6. Idaho

Boise, Idaho
Charles Knowles / Shutterstock.com
  • WWII veteran share of the 85+ population: 9.4%
  • WWII veteran share of the total veteran population: 2.4%
  • Total WWII veterans: 2,719
  • Total veteran population: 115,549

5. New Hampshire

Concord, New Hampshire
Wangkun Jia / Shutterstock.com
  • WWII veteran share of the 85+ population: 9.4%
  • WWII veteran share of the total veteran population: 3.0%
  • Total WWII veterans: 2,821
  • Total veteran population: 93,326

4. Montana

Montana Capitol
Katherine Welles / Shutterstock.com
  • WWII veteran share of the 85+ population: 9.8%
  • WWII veteran share of the total veteran population: 2.4%
  • Total WWII veterans: 2,086
  • Total veteran population: 85,401

3. Maine

Maine Capitol Building
Sean Pavone / Shutterstock.com
  • WWII veteran share of the 85+ population: 9.8%
  • WWII veteran share of the total veteran population: 3.3%
  • Total WWII veterans: 3,390
  • Total veteran population: 101,652

2. Utah

Salt Lake City, Utah
f11photo / Shutterstock.com
  • WWII veteran share of the 85+ population: 9.9%
  • WWII veteran share of the total veteran population: 3.0%
  • Total WWII veterans: 3,602
  • Total veteran population: 120,198

1. Oregon

Salem, Oregon
James Curzio / Shutterstock.com
  • WWII veteran share of the 85+ population: 10.0%
  • WWII veteran share of the total veteran population: 3.2%
  • Total WWII veterans: 8,807
  • Total veteran population: 273,946

Detailed Findings & Methodology

nito / Shutterstock.com

The data used in this analysis is from the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2020 American Community Survey. To determine the states with the most World War II veterans, researchers at Porch calculated the World War II veteran share of the 85-and-over population. In the event of a tie, the state with the greater World War II veteran share of the total veteran population was ranked higher.

Disclosure: The information you read here is always objective. However, we sometimes receive compensation when you click links within our stories.

This website uses cookies to improve your experience. We'll assume you're ok with this, but you can opt-out if you wish. Accept Read More