Perhaps because veterans tend to be older males, or because of the skills, experiences, and contacts acquired during military service, rural veterans had median incomes that were nearly 50 percent higher than rural nonveterans, based on 2007-11 data. Median incomes of veterans were at least twice those of nonveterans (income ratio of 1:2 or greater) in 79 rural counties, predominantly in the South and in high-poverty areas. Rural veteran income premiums tended to be high in counties dependent on public sector employment, whereas the incomes of rural veterans tended to be about average in manufacturing-dependent counties. There were also a handful of counties (54 or 2.7 percent of nonmetro counties) where rural veterans tended to earn less than nonveterans (income ratio less than 1:1). They were primarily farming-dependent counties where poverty rates tend to be low. This map is based on data found in the Atlas of Rural and Small Town America, on the ERS website.
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