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November Map of the Month: Where are the Veterans in Hampton Roads?

November Map of the Month: Where are the Veterans in Hampton Roads?

In honor of Veterans Day, this month’s map explores where veterans live in Hampton Roads and provides additional statistics about this important demographic in the region. In 2018, Hampton Roads was home to an estimated 205,400 military veterans, comprising approximately 16.4% of the regional population over 18 years old. The Virginia Beach-Norfolk-Newport News metropolitan statistical area (MSA) has the highest percentage of veterans compared to other MSAs that are over 1,000,000 in population.

Top Five MSAs (over 1,000,000)

Percent Veterans (2018 Estimates)

1. Virginia Beach-Norfolk-Newport News, VA-NC Metro Area


2. Jacksonville, FL Metro Area


3. San Antonio-New Braunfels, TX Metro Area


4. Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater, FL Metro Area


5. Oklahoma City, OK Metro Area



The map contains two layers of information—one represents the number of veterans living in each census tract (blue circles) and the other is symbolized by the predominant “period of service” for the veterans living in each census tract. The two layers can be viewed together or toggled on and off using the Layers menu item in the web map. The different colors show which of those service periods is most predominant in that census tract.

A portion of the map of Veterans in Hampton Roads

An interesting pattern is revealed when mapped--veterans serving most recently in the Gulf War since 2001 are predominant near the urban center of the region, the earlier Gulf War veterans from the 1990-2001 era are more predominant in the suburbs, and the older Vietnam veterans are more predominant in the rural areas. There are no tracts where Korean or World War II vets are most predominant. The intensity of the color indicates the strength of predominance for that period of service. For example, a darker blue census tract indicates that the margin of predominance for Vietnam War service is greater than in lighter blue areas even though it is the predominant service period for both.

Combined, Gulf War veterans comprise approximately 70% of veterans in Hampton Roads. Note that the numbers by period of service will not add to the total number of veterans because some may have served during multiple periods.

Period of Service

Total Veterans in Hampton Roads

(2018 Estimates)

Gulf War (2001-Present)


Gulf War (1990-2001)


Vietnam Era


Korean War


World War II



Click on the map to reveal additional statistics regarding age, race, income, employment, and disability status. Several charts are also available in the pop-up to visualize this data by census tract.

Veteran Statistics by Census Tract

The source of the map data is the American Community Survey 2018 5-Year Estimates.