New York’s 9/11-Era Veterans, 2007-2017

A New Report from the Center for Latin American, Caribbean and Latino Studies at The Graduate Center, CUNY Studies the Changes among the Veteran Population in the New York Metropolitan Area



NEW YORK, March 15, 2021—The Graduate Center of The City University of New York’s Center for Latin American, Caribbean and Latino Studies (CLACLS) has released a report on the changes in the 9/11-era veteran population of the New York metropolitan area.

The report, titled “New York’s 9/11-Era Veterans: A Quantitative Study by Sex, Race, and Ethnicity 2007-2017” examines key socioeconomic and demographic trends among non-active duty veterans in the New York metro area who served in the U.S. armed forces during the post 9/11 era.

9/11 era veterans in the New York metropolitan area performed well above their non-veteran counterparts in most socio-economic categories. The data indicate that between 2007 and 2017 employment, income, and educational attainment rates were consistently higher, and poverty rates consistently lower, than those of the metro area’s general population. These trends held relatively firm during the financial crisis of 2008 and as the veteran population continued to grow into the 2010s. In short, there is considerable evidence within this report to affirm that serving in the armed forces continues to have a direct correlation with greater socio-economic success. This correlation is particularly stark among Latinos and non-Hispanic blacks, where the variances between their non-veteran counterparts are prevalent in income, employment, poverty rates, and educational attainment.

Other key findings:

• Over the ten-year period studied here, the number of former servicemen and servicewomen in the New York metro area almost doubled while the general population grew at a much smaller rate.

• Along race/ethnic lines, the composition of the veteran population became significantly more Latino over the ten-year period — so much so that Latinos eventually eclipsed nonHispanic blacks as the second largest race/ethnic group after non-Hispanic whites.

• Sex ratios, perhaps unsurprisingly, trended more male than female, though women did comprise an increasingly larger share of the veteran population as the years went on. The proportion of males to females in 2017 was approximately 87:13, respectively.

• While almost all of the veteran subgroups boast higher college attendance and graduation rates than the national average, the accomplishments of non-Hispanic blacks, Latinos, and most females in this category is much larger than their non-veteran counterparts. All three groups show considerably higher rates of educational attainment when compared to the general metro area population.

• Regarding citizenship, the vast majority of 9/11 era veterans are citizens of the United States. However, citizenship rates among vets are in decline as the percentage of foreign born veterans is steadily rising.

Contact Sebastián Villamizar-Santamaría, Director of Quantitative Research, for a PDF of the report at

About The Center for Latin American, Caribbean and Latino Studies

The core mission of CLACLS is to actively support and advance the study of Latin America, the Caribbean, and Latinos in the U.S. in the doctoral programs of The Graduate Center, and to provide opportunities for Latino students at the Ph.D. level. CLACLS’s flagship program is the Latino Data Project, established in 2003 by Laird W. Bergad founding and current CLACLS director. Bergad is a distinguished professor in the Department of Latin American, Puerto Rican, and Latino Studies at Lehman College and with the Ph.D. Program in History at The Graduate Center. The Latino Data Project conducts detailed quantitative research on the Latino population of the United States and New York City metropolitan region, analyzing raw data files produced by the U.S. Census Bureau and other government agencies.

About The Graduate Center, CUNY

The Graduate Center of The City University of New York (CUNY) is a leader in public graduate education devoted to enhancing the public good through pioneering research, serious learning, and reasoned debate. The Graduate Center offers ambitious students more than 40 doctoral and master’s programs of the highest caliber, taught by top faculty from throughout CUNY — the nation’s largest public urban university. Through its nearly 40 centers, institutes, and initiatives, including its Advanced Science Research Center (ASRC), The Graduate Center influences public policy and discourse and shapes innovation. The Graduate Center’s extensive public programs make it a home for culture and conversation.

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