With few overseas conflicts in the last 47 years, the average age of veterans is increasing, with most veterans now of retirement age.

Most veterans are at least 65 years old and more than 40 percent are retired, according to the U.S. Census.

Of the 264,310 people included in the 2019 American Community Survey , an annual survey of American households conducted by the US Census Bureau, 7 percent were veterans, and 29 percent of the veterans surveyed are currently receiving veterans’ benefits. 

A large percentage of veterans — 28 percent — served during the Vietnam War in the 1960s and 1970s so many of them are now aging into retirement. According to “Those Who Served”, a publication by the Census Bureau, the average age of Vietnam veterans is 71.

No U.S. conflict since the Vietnam War ended in 1974 has involved nearly as many service members. 

While most veterans are now at retirement age, according to the 2019 American Community Survey, this proportion may fall in coming years, as the last troops who served in Afghanistan leave the armed forces.

Other Interesting Facts:

While the majority of both veterans and non-veterans have received an associate’s degree or a bachelor’s degree, only 3 percent of veterans have not finished high school, compared with 15 percent of non-veterans.

In 2019, the unemployment rate among veterans was reported as 1.4%, which was substantially lower than the unemployment rate among non-veterans, which was 3.5%.