Veterans are becoming more geographically isolated as they migrate to smaller, more rural counties surrounding military bases finds a recent article in Armed Forces & Society, a SAGE journal published on behalf of the Inter-University Seminar on Armed Forces and Society.
Using the 1980, 1990, and 2010 censuses, study author Jay Teachman examined population data from 3131 US counties. He found that the areas to which veterans migrate are becoming more veteran-concentrated which has led to a segregation of Americans between veteran and nonveteran populations.
“The drop in the percentage of veterans is particularly dramatic for the Northeast and the western third of the country,” wrote the author. “By 2010 many of the remaining high-density counties were often associated with nearby military installations.”
Teachman also found a growing decrease in the proportion of veterans in America in general, stating that between 1980 and 1990, the veteran population fell by an average of 4.6 %, between 1990 and 2000, the average decline was 8.5 %, and between 2000 and 2010, the average decline was 15.54 %.
“The extent to which the veteran population becomes a smaller proportion of the population and is increasingly concentrated means that there will be less contact between the veteran and nonveteran populations,” wrote the authors. “The increasing geographic concentration of veterans may hold consequences for civil-military relations.”