Posted by: Josh Lehner | November 12, 2010

Veterans Day: November 11, 2010

Veterans Day originated as “Armistice Day” on Nov. 11, 1919, the first anniversary of the end of World War I. Congress passed a resolution in 1926 for an annual observance, and Nov. 11 became a national holiday beginning in 1938. President Dwight D. Eisenhower signed legislation in 1954 to change the name to Veterans Day as a way to honor those who served in all American wars. The day honors living military veterans with parades and speeches across the nation. A national ceremony takes place at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia.

Veterans in Oregon


The number of military veterans that lived in Oregon in 2009. (American Community Survey)


Percent of veterans among 18 years and older population that lived in Oregon in 2009. That was the fourth highest in the U.S. The percentage was 9.5 percent for the nation as a whole. (ACS)

Female Veterans


The number of female veterans that lived in Oregon in 2009. That was 6.6 percent of all veterans. (ACS)

Race and Hispanic Origin


The number of non-Hispanic white veterans that lived in Oregon in 2009. That was 93 percent of all veterans. Additionally, 8,480 veterans were Hispanic and 4,683 veterans were black or African-American. The numbers for blacks and non-Hispanic whites cover only those reporting a single race. (ACS)

When They Served


The number of veterans 65 and older in 2009 in Oregon. That accounted for 42.5 percent of all veterans. Among the elderly population, 28.3 percent of them were veterans. At the other end of the age spectrum, 20,384 were younger than 35. That was 5.9 percent of all veterans. (ACS)


Number of Vietnam-era veterans that lived in 2009 in Oregon. Thirty-eight percent of all living veterans in Oregon served during this time (1964 – 1975). In addition, 54,191 served during the Gulf War which represents service from August 2, 1990 to present. In World War II, 40,175 served from 1941 to 1945. In the Korean War, 39,295 served from1950 through 1953 and there were 91,754 served in peacetime only. Please note that there is overlapping deployment. (ACS)

Where They Live 


Number of Oregon counties with 25,000 or more veterans in 2007. These counties are Multnomah, Washington, Clackamas, Lane, and Marion. They were also the five largest counties in the state in population. However, Sherman (20.7%), Curry (19.5%), Harney (19.2%), Wheeler (18.5%), and Douglas (17.4%) counties had the highest percentage of veterans among 18 years and older population; whereas Benton (9.8%) and Multnomah (9.2%) counties had the lowest percentage of veterans among 18 years and older population. (U.S. Census Bureau and U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs)



Percent of veterans 25 and older with at least a bachelor’s degree in 2009 that lived in Oregon. In comparison, 29 percent of the total population 25 and older had a bachelor’s degree or higher. (ACS)


Percent of veterans 25 and older with a high school diploma or higher that lived in 2009 in Oregon, compared with 89 percent of the 25 and older population as a whole. (ACS)



Annual median income for veterans in Oregon in 2009, inflation-adjusted dollars, compared with $24,367 for the population as a whole. (ACS)

On the Job


Number of 18 to 64 veterans in the labor force in 2009 that lived in Oregon. Nearly 87 percent of them were employed, which is comparable to the employment rate for non-veteran employment of 88 percent. (ACS)




Number of veterans with a disability in 2009 that lived in Oregon. Sixty-one percent of them were 65 and older. For non-veterans, 37 percent of the disabled were 65 and older. (ACS)


15.8 million

Number of veterans in the United States that voted in the 2008 presidential election. Seventy-one percent of veterans cast a ballot, compared with 63 percent of non-veterans. (Census Bureau, Voting and Registration in the Election of November 2008)

Business Owners


Percentage of all Oregon firms that are majority owned by veterans. Veteran-owned firms comprised an estimated 32,463 of the 348,468 nonfarm businesses operating in Oregon in 2007. There were 21,926 firms that were equally owned by veterans and non-veterans. (Survey of Business Owners: 2007, Preliminary Results)


$1.509 billion

Total amount of federal government spending for veterans benefit programs in fiscal year 2009. Of this total, $741 million went to compensation and pensions, $647 million for medical care and the remainder to other programs, such as vocational rehabilitation and education. In Oregon, Douglas County received the highest per veteran compensation and pension’s amount and highest overall per veteran expenditure from the Veterans Administration. The average per veteran amounts for the state as a whole was $2,195 for compensation and pensions and $4,437 for overall expenditure.  (VA)

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