The United States is celebrating Veterans Day on November 11, a public holiday established in 1919 initially as Armistice Day. The date commemorates the armistice (ceasefire) that ended World War I, which came into effect at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918.

Under U.S. law, a veteran is defined as a “person who served in active military, naval, air, or space service, and who has been released from it or discharged under conditions other than dishonorable. With this definition, those who actively serve in the military do not fall into the category of veterans.

According to Pew Research, in 2021 there were approximately 19 million veterans in the USA. The largest share of these veterans (41%), served during the Gulf War.

How many active military personnel are there in the United States?

According to, there were 1.3 million active duty military personnel in the United States in 2021, an increase of 0.15% or 2,026 service members from 2020. Approximately 14% of these service members are women .

Which countries spend the most on their army?

  • UNITED STATES — $876.9 billion
  • China — $292 billion
  • Russia — $86.4 billion
  • India — $81.4 billion
  • Saudi Arabia — $75 billion

Source: Visual Capitalist

China is the second highest spending country in the world and, in comparison, has allocated only $292 billion, followed by Russia which spends less than 10% of the American budget at $86.4 billion. Russia’s spending, however, has increased and overtaken India, which once had the third largest military budget.

How many foreign military bases are there in the world?

One of the significant costs borne by the military is the maintenance of bases outside the country. The United States has approximately 750 military bases spread across eighty countries. With 120 bases, Japan has the largest number of bases within its borders. The United States had deployed 173,000 troops in 159 different countries as of July 2021.

Which countries have the most US military bases?

  • Japan — 120
  • Germany — 119
  • South Korea –73

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