Where have all the veterans gone?
On Friday, Metric Maps posted a map on Reddit, made using U.S. Census data, showing a fundamental transformation in American society: Over three decades, veterans went from being a substantial part of most communities to a tiny minority of the American population.
In 1980, nearly 10 percent of the U.S. population between the ages of 18 and 34 had served in the military, and as the map shows, veterans were spread fairly evenly throughout the country.
Thirty years later, that figure had dropped to less than 3 percent, with veterans concentrated in a few, predominantly Southern areas.
Watch the transformation take place below:
A major likely cause of the steep drop-off in the percentage of veterans over the past few decades: the end of the draft in 1973.
As the U.S. Census report on veterans shows, the South provides proportionally more soldiers than any other American region, and veterans make up huge percentages of many Southern towns.
This story has been updated.
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