New Report Shows that 9/11-Era Veterans Are Faring Better Financially than the General Public

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New Report Shows that 9/11-Era Veterans Are Faring Better Financially than the General Public

The advantage holds true across all race, ethnicity and gender categories, although some groups are faring better than others, according to researchers at the Graduate Center, CUNY’s Center for Latin American, Caribbean and Latino Studies

NEW YORK, (July 19, 2017) – The country’s 9/11-era veterans (individuals who served in the U.S. armed forces between 2005 and 2015) are better paid, better educated and far less likely to be unemployed than their general-population peers, according to a new report produced by the Latino Data Project at the Center for Latin American, Caribbean and Latino Studies (CLACLS) at the Graduate Center, CUNY.

The report, “How Are 9/11-Era Veterans Faring in Modern Economy? A Quantitative Study by Sex, Race and Ethnicity,” was based on data extrapolated from the U.S. Census Bureau’s American Community Survey Public Use Microdata Series. Researchers discovered that 77 percent of 9/11-era veterans were employed in 2015 compared to just 70 percent of working-age adults in the general population. Veterans of the 9/11 era are also better educated, with 47 percent of those 25 years and older having associates degrees or higher compared to just 39 percent of all Americans 25 years and older. Veterans from the 9/11 era also earned more, with a median annual income of $80,000 in 2015—about $12,000 more than their general-population peers.
“Recruiters and veterans have long trumpeted the armed forces being not just a way to channel a strong sense of civic duty, but also a pathway to upward mobility,” said Lawrence Cappello, CLACLS’ director of quantitative research and author of the report. “We wanted to see if those assertions are a reality for modern-day veterans, and the data we analyzed appears to broadly support them.”
But Cappello’s findings also showed that while the advantages associated with 9/11 military service hold true for all demographics, the extent of the benefits varies widely among racial and gender groups. For example, while white, male 9/11 veterans ranked fifth out of eight in four-year degree attainment, they ranked third out of eight in income levels. Conversely, black women ranked fourth in educational attainment, but had the lowest income levels of all groups. Latino women, Asian women and Asian men were the only groups whose income earning levels were directly aligned with their educational attainment.  

Cappello’s analysis offers suggestions for further exploration into the possible cause of the persistent income disparities among 9/11 veterans based on gender, race and ethnicity. The researcher hopes the findings will prompt others to examine these trends more closely, both inside and outside the military. He believes the data could also be useful in helping potential military recruits explore their post-military career goals and determine how to best plot their military career training.

About the Graduate Center, CUNY 
The Graduate Center (GC) is the focal point for advanced teaching and research at the City University of New York (CUNY), the nation's largest urban public university. Devoted exclusively to graduate education, the GC fosters pioneering research and scholarship in the arts and sciences, and trains students for careers in universities and the private, nonprofit, and government sectors. With over 35 doctoral and master’s programs of the highest caliber, and 20 research centers, institutes, and initiatives, the GC benefits from highly ambitious and diverse students and alumni—who in turn teach hundreds of thousands of undergraduates every year. Through its public programs, the GC enhances New York City’s intellectual and cultural life. Visit to learn more.


Submitted on: JUL 19, 2017

Category: Center for Latin American, Caribbean, and Latino Studies | Press Room | Research Studies