Where America’s veterans live, in 1 map

The rapidly increasing list of members of Congress calling for the resignation of Veterans Administration Secretary Eric Shinseki follows one predictable pattern. Many of those making the demand are either Republicans or Democrats in swing states or close reelection campaigns. But another factor might also be in play: states where veterans are more likely to live.

The VA tracks veteran residency by state. As of last September, it estimates that no state was home to more veterans than California — which makes sense, given the size of the state's population.

Veteran population of each state

The darker the color blue, the higher the population.

When you factor in the state's population, though, the picture shifts. (The population data is from the latest Census estimate.)

Veterans as a percentage of the state population

The darker the color orange, the higher the percentage of the state's population that are veterans.

Notice that Montana jumps out on this map, with ten percent of its population holding veteran status. It may not be a surprise, then, that one of the senators that quickly called for Shinseki's resignation was Sen. John Walsh (D-Mont.).  (Walsh is also in a very tough fight to hold the seat he was appointed to earlier this year.) He was joined, we'll note, by Rep. Scott Peters, Democrat of California.

Philip Bump writes about politics for The Fix. He previously wrote for The Wire, the news blog of The Atlantic magazine. He has contributed to The Daily Beast, The Atlantic, The Daily, and the Huffington Post. Philip is based in New York City.
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