Skip to main content

A look at veterans in Minnesota

There are 369,149 veterans living in Minnesota.

The 11th day of the 11th month in 1918. That's when fighting between the Allied Nations and German forces stopped, signaling the near-end of World War I.

Nov. 11 is now celebrated as Veterans Day – a day President Woodrow Wilson described in 1919 as a time to “be filled with solemn pride in the heroism of those who died in the country’s service and with gratitude for the victory …”

A veterans ceremony and free community breakfast was held Friday morning at the Memorial Community Center in Inver Grove Heights. A number of officials and politicians were there, including Gov. Mark Dayton, Sens. Amy Klobuchar and Al Franken, Rep. Tom Emmer, and more.

Veterans in Minnesota

There are 369,149 veterans living in Minnesota, a Department of Veterans Affairs 2015 report says.

Of those, 92 percent are white; 3 percent are black, 2 percent are Hispanic/Latino, and Asian, American Indian, and other make up 1 percent each.

The majority (about 140,000) live in four Twin Cities counties – Hennepin, Ramsey, Dakota, Anoka. The fifth most populous county for veterans is St. Louis County, with 18,789.

About 68 percent of Minnesota's veterans are over the age of 55, and most of them served during the Vietnam era. But more than 30,000 are under the age of 35.

Nearly 48,000 (about 13 percent) served in the Middle East after 9/11.

Many face serious homelessness, though the numbers are improving. Since 2010, the number of homeless veterans in Minnesota has dropped by 57 percent, a Minnesota Department of Veterans Affairs news release says.

President Barack Obama, speaking at Arlington National Cemetery Friday, said it's up to U.S. citizens to advocate and speak up for veterans.

"They don't always go around telling stories of their heroism, so it's up to us to ask and to listen, to tell those stories for them and to live in our own lives the values for which they were prepared to give theirs," he said. "It's up to us to make sure they always get the care that they need."

Veterans who need help can contact group such as the Minnesota Assistance Council for Veterans, which has a 24/7 help line, as well as links to other resources. The Minnesota Department of Veterans Affairs has options for help as well.

Next Up

Semi into house near Sturgis, South Dakota

Semi drives into house near Sturgis, South Dakota

The force from the semi was so strong that the foundation of the house was moved.


18-year-old from Zumbrota dies in Goodhue County crash

The crash happened in rural Goodhue County around 8:45 a.m. Wednesday.

thomas beach, bde maka ska - lake calhoun

3 Minneapolis beaches closed due to E. coli contamination

No illnesses have been reported, according to the MPRB.


'Hockeyland' documentary debuting in Minnesota movie theaters

The documentary has received great reviews at numerous film festivals.

Flickr - police lights squad siren - Edward Kimmel

Former Minnesota Olympic runner accused of driving drunk in Eden Prairie crash

Police said the man's blood alcohol level was three times the legal limit.


Man, 79, killed in ATV rollover near Faribault

The man was declared dead at the scene.

minneapolis police

Woman fighting for her life after shooting in Minneapolis

The woman was shot only about a half-hour after a 14-year-old suffered critical injuries in an apparent accidental discharge.

prior lake high school

Two students face discipline over racist messages at Prior Lake High School

Families and students were largely uncooperative with the investigation.

Sharon and Herb Vasser

Cause of Hopkins house explosion that killed couple revealed

Sharon and Herb Vassar were killed in the explosion. Herb built the home back in 1962.

Arrows on target

Charges: Minnesota camp counselor fired arrows at kids, injuring boy

An 8-year-old boy was shot in the arm with an arrow.

North Shore Mayor Chris Swanson.

Two Harbors votes overwhelmingly to recall Mayor Chris Swanson

The mayor had been scrutinized for several things leading up to the vote Tuesday.

Screen Shot 2022-08-10 at 8.43.50 AM

Suspected gunman at large after homicide near Albert Lea

The 32-year-old suspect was last seen in a 2004 white Ford F-150 with Minnesota license number EUZ-057.


Why there's no longer a cross at this MN city's veterans' memorial

An out-of-state group put pressure on city leaders to get rid of the cross.

Minnesota honors women veterans

Monday is Women's Veterans Day in Minnesota. An official with the Veterans Affairs Department says the recognition is important to female veterans. Many, she says, don't even think of themselves as veterans because of their non-combat roles in the service.

A new report looks at how inclusive cities are of the LGBTQ community

The campaign looked at eight cities in Minnesota, and awards points for meeting certain criteria.

Charges: Man who attacked victim on the street said 'I hate Muslims'

Minnesota, like the U.S., has seen crimes targeting Muslims rise.

Eden Prairie police save man's life with overdose reversal drug

The man was found on the ground, unconscious, and having trouble breathing.

The cross at the Belle Plaine veterans memorial can come back

The cross had been taken down after pressure from an out-of-state nonprofit.

Charges: Adult son stabbed his mom, dad to death with a screwdriver

The 38-year-old had struggled with mental illness and addiction for years.