There are more than 750,000 veterans in Illinois, making up 7.8 percent of the population according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Cook County is home to the smallest share of veterans in the state. Veterans are 15 percent of the population in downstate St. Clair County—making it the most densely vet-populated county in Illinois. See where veterans live in Illinois in the interactive map below.
More than a third of Illinois veterans are from the Vietnam era. The Census data is for the civilian population, suggesting that the share of vets from the second Gulf War will increase as more retire from active duty.
Although a smaller share of Illinois veterans have a bachelors degree compared to their non-serving counterparts, household income is higher on average for vets: $37,546 compared to $27,987. The unemployment rate is similar for vets and non-vets, but in both cases, higher than the national average.