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    Two Visions of America by Don Jans

    Report Finds California Has 3rd Fewest Military Families In U.S.

    By Mike LaFirenza

    Millions of Americans are employed as active-duty military or serve in the Reserves and National Guard. While a much smaller share of Americans hold positions in the U.S. Armed Forces than in years past, a large number of Americans still have direct ties to the military. According to data from the U.S. Census Bureau, 3.2% of the U.S. population lives in a military household with at least one active-duty military, Reserves, or National Guard member.

    The draft for military service ended in 1973. Since then, the military has been an all-volunteer force. During the height of the Vietnam war in 1968, there were nearly 3.7 million active-duty military members, comprising 1.8% of the total U.S. population, but the share of active-duty military members has been declining since then. In 2020, 1.5 million Americans, or less than 0.5% of the population, served as active-duty.

     

     

    U.S. military demographics have changed dramatically over time as well. Today, a much larger share of women serve—female enlistees account for 16% of enlisted forces, up from 2% in 1973, while the share of female officers has increased from 8% in 1973 to 19%. At the same time, the Armed Forces have become more racially and ethnically diverse, and the share of military members with children has fluctuated over time. In 2010 and 2011, 44% of active-duty military personnel were parents; as of 2020, this figure had dropped to less than 36%.

     

     

    As U.S. military demographics change over time, so do the share of Americans who are part of a military family. While just over 3% of Americans are in military households, this figure varies greatly by geography, based on the presence of U.S. military bases. At the state level, Hawaii, which has 13 military bases, is home to the largest share of military household members, at 11.2% of the population. Military families are also common in Alaska, with nine bases, where 10.5% of the population are in military households. At the other end of the spectrum, only about 2% of the population in both Michigan and New York live in a military household.

     

     

    To determine the U.S. states with the most military families, researchers at Filterbuy analyzed the latest data from the U.S. Census Bureau. The researchers ranked states according to the percentage of the population in a military household—defined as one in which at least one household member currently serves in the military, Reserves, or National Guard. Researchers also calculated the percentage of the population who are active-duty military personnel, the percentage of the population who are Veterans, the percentage of the population who are in the Reserves or National Guard, and the military branch with the largest active presence.

    The analysis found that 2.3% of the California population lives in military households. Out of all U.S. states, California has the 3rd smallest percentage of households with at least one household member currently serving in the military, Reserves, or National Guard. Here is a summary of the data for California:

    • Percentage of population in a military household: 2.3%
    • Percentage of population who are active duty: 0.2%
    • Percentage of population who are Veterans: 3.7%
    • Percentage of population who are Reserve/National Guard: 0.6%
    • Military branch with largest active presence: Navy

    For reference, here are the statistics for the entire United States:

    • Percentage of population in a military household: 3.2%
    • Percentage of population who are active duty: 0.4%
    • Percentage of population who are Veterans: 5.3%
    • Percentage of population who are Reserve/National Guard: 1.0%
    • Military branch with largest active presence: Army

    For more information, a detailed methodology, and complete results, you can find the original report on Filterbuy’s website: https://filterbuy.com/resources/cities-and-housing-for-military-families/


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