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Pittsburgh Perspectives  

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Thursday, November 07, 2019  01:10 AM  (25)

Veterans Population Update

Monday, November 11th is Veterans Day in the United States.  This is just a short update of a post from last year compiling recent trends in the population of veterans who reside in the Pittsburgh Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA).

The Census Bureau’s American Community Survey (ACS) estimates that a total of 149,783 veterans live in the 7-county MSA, or just over 6.4% of the region's total population. Overall the total number of veterans in the region continues a slow decline resulting primarily from the ongoing decline of World War II era and older veterans. Only 5,840 veterans with service in War II live within the 7-county region as of 2018.* The largest group of veterans in the region continues to be veterans with service during the Vietnam War Era.

Gulf War Era veterans are categorized into those with service between August 1990 and September 2001 and those with service since September 2001. For both periods the number of veterans living in the region has remained relatively stable in recent years. For 2018 an estimated 13,659 veterans with military service since September 2001 live in the region, roughly equal to the average over the previous five years. Similarly, the 2018 estimate for the number of Gulf War veterans with service between August 1990 and September (15,842) is close to the average estimate over the previous five years.

Also as of 2018, the ACS estimates that 24,118, or 16% of veterans living in the Pittsburgh MSA, have a military service-connected disability rating. The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs assigns a disability rating to veterans who have injuries resulting from their military service. A VA disability rating is expressed as a percentage, representing how much the veteran's disability decreases their overall health and ability to function. 6,617 veterans in the region are estimated to have a VA disability rating of 70% or higher.


* Note 5,840 represents the number of veterans with World War II service only. An additional 729 regional veterans are estimated to have service in World War II and either the Korean War and/or during the Vietnam era.   

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