Illinois Veterans Demographics and Statistics

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In Illinois and throughout the country, veterans are a major focus of the  American Community Survey (ACS), conducted by the U.S. Census Bureau, publishes detailed estimates on the veteran population each year. ACS data typically only counts veterans no longer in active service—in other words, people who are currently civilians. 

Veterans make up a significant but declining percentage of the U.S. population, as veterans of older wars pass on. In 2011, there were nearly 1.9 million living veterans of World War II. By 2018, that number had dwindled to less than 500,000. The data in this story shows population counts of Illinois’s veterans, broken up by various characteristics. 

How has the Illinois veteran population changed over time?

How does Illinois veteran population compare to the United States?

How does the veteran population vary within Illinois?

Note: Hover over a county to see its data.

When did Illinois veterans serve in the military?

Note: Hover over a period of service to see the population of  living Illinois veterans who served during that period. Periods between major conflicts have been excluded from this chart.

How does median income compare for Illinois veterans and nonveterans?

On a national level, veterans' median income was about $41,500 in 2018, compared to roughly $30,800 for non-veterans.

How many Illinois veterans have service-connected disabilities?

The department of Veterans Affairs (VA) assigns ratings to disabilities that veterans received during their service, or for existing health issues that worsened because of their service. The ratings are assigned as a percentage scale, with higher percentages corresponding to more severe disabilities. 

By Service-Connected Disabilities

This chart shows the populations of veterans with, and without, service-connected disabilities in Illinois. 

By Service-Connected Disabilities Rating

The chart below shows the former population broken down by the severity ratings of those disabilities. 

About the Data

Data is from the U.S. Census Bureau's American Community Survey (ACS), 1-year estimates. This report uses the Census Bureau Data API but is not endorsed or certified by the Census Bureau. The population considered in this report only includes civilians 18 years and older. The following tables are used:

• Total Veterans: Table B21002

• Period of Military Service: Table B21002

• Median Income: Table B21004, civilians 18 years and older with income.

• Service-Connected Disabilities: Table B21100

This report also uses data from Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:

Served on active duty in the U.S. Armed Forces: Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System