Veterans in Arizona

Valorie Rice, Senior Specialist, Business Information

There are over 500,000 veterans living in Arizona. This translated into 10.8% of the population over 18 for the state of Arizona in 2013, ranking Arizona among the top 15 states with the highest concentration of veterans. It was also higher than the national figure of 9.0%. Among the states referred to on the MAP Dashboard, only Washington, New Mexico and Nevada had a higher percent of veterans. Below are some interesting facts concerning Arizona’s veteran population in honor of Veteran’s Day on November 11th.

Maricopa, being the largest county in terms of population, contained the largest number of veterans in the state, but the county with the largest concentration of veterans was Cochise, with 19.4% of the population over 18 being veterans. The percent of people in Pima County who formerly served in the military was 12.2%, while Santa Cruz had the smallest percentage of veteran population, 6.7%.

The state of Arizona's veteran population is 10.8%.

Just as Arizona had a higher percent of the general population that is Hispanic or Latino than the U.S., the state also had a higher percentage of veterans that are Hispanic or Latino compared to the nation. The percent of Arizona’s veterans that are Hispanic or Latino was 10.6% compared to 5.6% nationally. The counties with the largest percentage of Hispanic or Latino veterans were Greenlee and Santa Cruz. Arizona also had a higher percentage of American Indian and Alaska Native veterans than the nation (2.1% in AZ and 0.7% in the U.S.). The percent of veterans that were female in Arizona (7.7%) was essentially the same as the U.S. (7.3%).

Arizona veterans were more educated than the general population. In 2013, 29.4% of Arizona veterans had a bachelor’s degree or better. This was higher than the overall total for the state, at 26.9%, making Arizona one of only 12 states in which the college attainment rate for veterans was higher than the state total. Nationally, the college attainment rate for veterans was lower than the overall rate for the nation – 26.3% vs 28.8%. It is interesting to note that Arizona veterans had a higher percentage of bachelor’s degree or better than the U.S. as a whole. 

Arizona closely mirrors the U.S. in the composition of veterans by service period. Veterans that served during the Vietnam era by far represented the largest percentage. Vietnam era veterans were the largest segment in every county in Arizona.

Data in this report are from the 2013 American Community Survey (ACS) five-year estimates in order to represent all counties in Arizona. One may find slightly different estimates reported in this section when compared to MAP’s core indicators since data provided on this website for the state of Arizona and the U.S. typically utilizes the ACS three-year estimates. The Census Bureau ceased providing three-year estimates this year; therefore only five-year estimates will be used going forward.