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California has nation's highest number of veterans

July 13, 2012 |  5:11 pm

The U.S. has nearly 22 million veterans, with 2 million of those living in California, according to the Census Bureau. The Golden State has the nation's highest population of former servicemen and women, with Texas and Florida -- each with 1.6 million veterans -- tied for second.

More than 1.3 million of U.S. veterans have served in multiple wars, the data show. About 100,000 participated in three conflicts -- roughly split between those who served in the Vietnam War as well as the Gulf War and Iraq war, and those who took part in World War II and  the Korean and Vietnam wars.

About 1.6 million of the nation’s veterans are women.

The details are included in a summary of information about veterans released this week by the Census Bureau. That release is part of a broad educational campaign, launched July 4 and called “How Do We Know?” -- which seeks to teach Americans about the role of the census in charting the nation’s growth and composition.

The bureau’s surveys include the decennial census, the economic census and the American Community Survey.

Veterans are more likely than other Americans to have earned a high school diploma, the new release shows, but less likely than others to have a college degree. The median annual income of veterans is about $35,000, about $10,000 higher than that of non-veterans, the data show.

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-- Rebecca Trounson

Twitter: @rebeccatrounson

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