Most served in the Gulf War or thereafter, but some from WWII remain.
In the metropolis of New York, there is but a medium-sized city of veterans: 138,000 in 2019, according to the U.S. Census Bureau—or a little over 2 percent of the population.
About a third of them served in the Vietnam War era. Seventeen percent served between the launch of Operation Desert Shield In August 1990 and Sept. 11, 2001. Just under a fifth of New York City’s veterans served after the 2001 terrorist attacks. There were about 14,000 Korean War veterans in the city last year, and 4,941 people who served in World War II.
New York City’s veterans are 90 percent male, and 71 percent are age 55 or older. Compared with the city as a whole, veterans are disproportionately White (55 percent of veterans vs. 43 percent of the whole city) and Black (31 percent of vets vs. 24 percent overall). They’re more likely to have graduated high school and have had some college, and less likely to have dropped out of high school or obtained a bachelor’s degree, than other New Yorkers.
Veterans are less likely to be in the labor force than the general population, and their unemployment rate last year was 5.8 percent, slightly higher than the city’s overall rate. However, the poverty rate among veterans—12 percent—is lower than the general population rate of 14. They are about twice as likely to have a disability.
The traditional Veterans Day parade on Manhattan’s Fifth Avenue was adjusted this year in light of COVID-19 precautions, but will still include a motorcade procession on Wednesday as well as other virtual celebrations, according to parade organizers.
When they served
|Total NYC veterans||138088|
|Gulf War (9/2001 or later), no Gulf War (8/1990 to 8/2001), no Vietnam Era||20739|
|Gulf War (9/2001 or later) and Gulf War (8/1990 to 8/2001), no Vietnam Era||5002|
|Gulf War (9/2001 or later), and Gulf War (8/1990 to 8/2001), and Vietnam Era||800|
|Gulf War (8/1990 to 8/2001), no Vietnam Era||16492|
|Gulf War (8/1990 to 8/2001) and Vietnam Era||927|
|Between Gulf War and Vietnam Era only||20750|
|Vietnam Era, no Korean War, no World War II||41780|
|Vietnam Era and Korean War, no World War II||385|
|Between Vietnam Era and Korean War only||12133|
|Korean War, no Vietnam Era, no World War II||13158|
|Korean War and World War II, no Vietnam Era||158|
|Between Korean War and World War II only||981|
|World War II, no Korean War, no Vietnam Era||4783|