In 2014, the Veterans Administration (VA) reported that 22 million Americans were veterans. They based their figure on data they collected, as well as on data from the Department of Defense, the United States Census Bureau, the Internal Revenue Service, and the Social Security Administration. In addition, the Department of Defense reported that in 2015, there were 1.4 million active military personnel. These two figures combined add to 7.3% of Americans who have served in the military at any point in their adult lives.
According to the VA, about half of all veterans are over 60 now, and 5.5 million of the veterans served during peacetime. About 7 million living vets served in one of the Gulf Wars, 7.25 million served in Vietnam, 1.89 million served in Korea, and a little over 1 million served in World War II. The VA predicts that the number of veterans will decline to 14.5 million by 2043.