As we celebrate Veterans Day, the numbers add up to the respect and appreciation our veterans deserve across the nation—and here in California. To sum it up:

  • Veterans Day began as Armistice Day, to commemorate the armistice that began on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month (November 11, 1918) to end World War I. More than 119,000 veterans came home to California from that war.
CalVet Home Loan Logo reading, celebrating 100 years of lending.
  • CalVet’s Home Loan Program was created by the State Legislature in 1921 to benefit veterans following World War I. The program has completed loans to more than 425,000 California veterans and their families, funding more than $8.5 billion in loans, none of which has been at the taxpayers’ expense.
  • Today, there are 19 million U.S. military veterans.
Two boys hold their flags and stand at attention as marines from El Toro pass in Armistice Day parade in Long Beach.
Nov. 11, 1952: Two boys hold their flags and stand at attention as marines from El Toro pass in Armistice Day parade in Long Beach. The boys’ father was in Korea.
  • More than 1.6 million veterans live in California. Nearly 1.3 million who served during wartimes, about 343,000 during times of peace.
  • About 25,000 World War II-era veterans live in California – out of an estimated 240,000 nationwide.
  • About 88,000 Korean War-era veterans, 500,000 Vietnam-era veterans, and 692,000 Gulf War-era veterans live in the state.
  • Nearly 1.2 million California veterans are White, 312,000 are Hispanic or Latino; 160,000 are Black, 113,200 are Asian, 17,100 are Native American or Alaskan Native, and 76,400 are from other ethnicities.
  • There are 163,000 women veterans in the state, 1,800 served during World War II.
Women serving in WW II, 6888th Central Post Battalion
  • By 2030, the total number of veterans in California is projected to drop to 1.3 million, with 726,000 of them being from the Gulf War era.
  • CalVet operates eight Veterans Homes of California, where roughly 1,700 veterans and spouses live, and where about 2,600 staff members provide their care.
  • CalVet’s California Transition Assistance Program, popularly known as CalTAP, has helped more than 14,000 veterans and active duty personnel and their eligible dependents access their earned Post-9/11 GI Bill education and other benefits since the program’s inception in 2017.
  • California has more than 11,400 homeless veterans. CalVet’s Veterans Housing and Homeless Prevention program has spent over $357 million to date working with local and state government agencies and developers to build 72 projects more than 2,500 units earmarked specifically for homeless or low-income veterans and their families.

Enjoy your Veterans Day by appreciating our veterans!

SOURCES: U.S. Veterans Affairs Veteran Population Projections, California Department of Veterans Affairs, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development – 2020 Annual Homeless Assessment Report.

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