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MPI Examines Foreign-Born Veterans of U.S. Armed Forces

Press Release
Thursday, October 30, 2008

MPI Examines Foreign-Born Veterans of U.S. Armed Forces

WASHINGTON – As the United States prepares to commemorate Veterans Day on Nov. 11, the Migration Policy Institute (MPI) is releasing an analysis of a sometimes overlooked group of U.S. armed forces veterans: those born in other countries.

As the MPI Fact Sheet shows, there are over 644,000 foreign-born veterans of the U.S. armed forces, accounting for nearly 3 percent of all surviving U.S. veterans. This figure does not include those currently serving in the military.

MPI analyzed U.S. Census Bureau data from the recently released 2007 American Community Survey to produce this demographic snapshot of foreign-born veterans, including their country or region of birth, current state of residence and periods of service.

The analysis shows that most foreign-born U.S. veterans migrated from European or Latin American countries. The countries where the highest numbers of U.S. immigrant veterans were born were the Philippines – representing 12 percent of foreign-born veterans– and Mexico, birthplace to 11 percent.

California and Florida are home to one-third of all the foreign-born U.S. veterans, with sizeable numbers also found in New York, Texas, New Jersey and Virginia.

The Fact Sheet is available online here.

For information on the foreign born currently serving in the U.S. military, see the Migration Information Source article “Immigrants in the U.S. Armed Forces” by MPI Policy Analyst Jeanne Batalova at:  http://www.migrationinformation.org/USFocus/display.cfm?ID=683