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What Percentage of Americans Have Served in the Military?

what percentage of americans have served in the military

The U.S military is one of the top five biggest militaries in the world. In terms of active duty personnel, it is just after China and India. Most of us know that we have a ginormous force, but have you ever wondered just exactly how many people there are in the military? And also, what percentage of Americans have served in the military? Today’s article will look at numbers from Statista in 2020 to give you a glimpse into this matter. We will do a teeny tiny bit of math to get the answer at the end. So, keep reading!

How Many People Are in the U.S Military?

percentage-of-the-us-population-serves-in-the-military

In 2020, the number of active and reserve U.S military force personnel were as follows:

  • The Army

The Army (Active Duty) : 481,254 military personnel

The Army National Guard: 336,703 military personnel

The Army Reserve: 274,518 military personnel

Totaling 1,092,475 military personnel in the Army.

  • The Navy

The Navy (Active Duty): 341,996 military personnel

The Navy Reserve: 101,223 military personnel

Totaling 443,219 military personnel in the Navy.

  • The Air Force

The Air Force Active Duty: 329,614 military personnel

The Air National Guard: 107,414 military personnel

The Air Force Reserve: 95,079 military personnel

Totaling 532,107 military personnel in the Air Force.

  • The Marine Corps

The Marine Corps Active Duty: 180,958 military personnel

The Marine Corps Reserve: 98,952 military personnel

Totaling 279,910 military personnel in the Marine Corps.

  • The Coast Guard

The Coast Guard Active Duty: 40,558 military personnel

The Coast Guard Reserve: 7,724 military personnel

Totaling 48,282 military personnel in the Coast Guard.

Age Consideration

In total, there was 2,395,993 military personnel in the U.S Armed Forces in 2020. 600,455 of this number were members aged 25 and under, 285,736 were 26 to 30 years old, 197,472 were between 31 and 25, 144,229 were 36 to 40, and 105,930 were 41 and over (counting only the active duty).

Education Consideration

891,790 of the active duty personnel population had a high school diploma or GED, 190,664 had a Bachelor’s Degree, 115,877 had an Associate’s Degree. In contrast, 1,454 had no diploma and 24,706 did not disclose their education level. From this, we can see that most personnel joined the U.S Armed Forces fresh out of high school, and this made sense given that around 600 thousand of the active duty population were 25 years old or under.

As you can see, the Army has the most personnel out of all 5 branches of the U.S Armed Forces. The second most densely populated branch is the Air Force, whereas the scarcest branch is the Coast Guard.

Number of Active Duty Personnel From 2008 to 2019 (By Branches)

As you have seen the number of active duty personnel in 2020, let’s now look at the number for the years before that, starting from 2008.

  • The US Army

2008: 539,675 military personnel

2009: 549,015 military personnel

2010: 561,979 military personnel

2011: 561,437 military personnel

2012: 546,057 military personnel

2013: 528,070 military personnel

2014: 504,330 military personnel

2015: 487,366 military personnel

2016: 471,271 military personnel

2017: 472,047 military personnel

2018: 471,990 military personnel

2019; 479,785 military personnel

  • The US Navy

2008: 326,684 military personnel

2009: 324,239 military personnel

2010: 323,139 military personnel

2011: 320,241 military personnel

2012: 314,339 military personnel

2013: 319,838 military personnel

2014: 321,599 military personnel

2015: 323,334 military personnel

2016: 320,101 military personnel

2017: 319,492 military personnel

2018: 325,395 military personnel

2019: 332,528 military personnel

  • The US Air Force

2008: 322,900 military personnel

2009: 328,847 military personnel

2010: 329,640 military personnel

2011: 328,821 military personnel

2012: 328,812 military personnel

2013: 326,573 military personnel

2014: 312,453 military personnel

2015: 307,326 military personnel

2016: 313,723 military personnel

2017: 318,580 military personnel

2018: 321,618 military personnel

2019: 327,878 military personnel

In 2020, the number of active duty Department of Defense members, which includes officers as well as enlisted personnel, was 1,333,822 – an increase from 2019’s 1,326,200. Here is a list of the DoD’s population in the preceding years:

2018: 1,304,418 military personnel

2017: 1,294,520 military personnel

2016: 1,288,596 military personnel

2015: 1,301,443 military personnel

2014: 1,326,273 military personnel

2013: 1,370,329 military personnel

2012: 1388,028 military personnel

2011: 1,411,425 military personnel

2010: 1,417,370 military personnel

2009: 1,405,176 military personnel

2008: 1,387,674 military personnel

What Percentage of the U.S Population Serves in the Military?

how-many-people-are-in-the-us-military

As we have mentioned earlier, there were 2,395,993 military personnel in the five branches of the Armed Forces in 2020. Juxtaposing this with the U.S population at the time — 329.5 million, it is possible to compute that the percentage of the population in the military was 0.727%.

If you are interested, here is the math bit:

  • The number of military personnel in 2020 / U.S population in 2020
  • 2,395,993/329,500,000
  • 00727160242
  • 00727160242 x 100 (To convert into a percentage)
  • 72716024279

Hence, the percentage of Americans in the military is 0.727%.

Assuming that the U.S population number published online only takes into account those with a valid U.S citizenship and that there is no exception to the rule that you must be an American to serve in the military, the percent of American citizens who serve in the military is also 0.727%.

Bonus Section (2019 Numbers)!

If you want to look into this question prior to 2020, here are a few key figures of U.S veterans in 2019:

  • The Number of U.S Female Veterans in 2019

Between 18 and 34 years old: 265,690

Between 35 and 54 years old: 629,342

Between 55 and 64 years old: 402,172

Between 65 and 74 years old: 207,845

75 years old and older: 131,438

  • The Number of U.S Male Veterans in 2019

Between 18 and 34 years old: 1,202,707

Between 35 and 54 years old: 3,415,383

Between 55 and 64 years old: 2,732,633

Between 65 and 74 years old: 4,335,854

75 years old and older: 4,095,187

Using this data, we can see the percentage of the population who were veterans in 2019:

  • The Percentage of U.S Female Veterans in 2019

Between 18 and 34 years old: 0.72

Between 35 and 54 years old: 1.51

Between 55 and 64 years old: 1.83

Between 65 and 74 years old: 1.23

75 years old and older: 1

  • The Percentage of U.S Male Veterans in 2019

Between 18 and 34 years old: 3.17

Between 35 and 54 years old: 8.37

Between 55 and 64 years old: 13.34

Between 65 and 74 years old: 29.45

75 years old and older: 43.92

Conclusion

As you have just read, the short answer to “What percentage of Americans have served in the military in 2020?” is 0.727%. Hopefully, the data that we have provided in this article is useful for your reference. If you have any other questions to ask or thoughts to share, reach out to us in the comments below. Otherwise, please help us share this content with other readers! Thank you!

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