A new report released on July 18 by the U.S. Census Bureau shows U.S. veterans 65 years or older were less likely to be at risk of experiencing social isolation than other older adults.
The report, Aging Veterans: America’s Veteran Population in Later Life, examines characteristics of the nation’s 8.1 million veterans ages 65 or older in 2021.
- Nearly one-half (49%) of all veterans in the United States were 65 years or older.
- The largest group of older veterans (5.5 million) served during the Vietnam era. World War II veterans made up the smallest group (183,000) of war-time veterans.
- Older veterans were less likely to be living in poverty and had higher incomes than other older adults.
- Older veterans were more likely to have a functional disability than other older adults. However, older veterans were less likely to have a service-connected disability compared with all veterans.
- Older veterans were less likely to be at risk of isolation than other older adults. About 43% of older veterans experienced at least one characteristic of isolation compared with 46% of older adults who never served.
- In contrast, veterans in general, regardless of age, were more likely to have at least one characteristic of isolation than nonveterans (34% compared with 27%, respectively).
This report is based on data from the 2021 American Community Survey (ACS). The ACS is a nationwide survey designed to provide timely and reliable data every year on the demographic, social, economic and housing characteristics of the nation, states, counties and other localities. The survey has an annual sample size of about 3.5 million addresses across the United States and Puerto Rico and includes both housing units and group quarters. The ACS is conducted in every county throughout the nation. The ACS 1-year data are released for geographic areas with populations of 65,000 or greater. The ACS 5-year data are released for all geographic areas.
For information on the ACS sample design and other topics, visit www.census.gov/programs-surveys/acs/.
Data in this report are subject to sampling and nonsampling error. Comparisons of estimates have taken sampling error and are significant at the 90% confidence level or higher, unless otherwise noted. Because of rounding, some details may not sum to totals. For information on sampling and estimation methods, confidentiality protection and sampling/nonsampling errors, review the “Accuracy of the Data” documents for 2021.