How many blind veterans are there in the US, by state?
Hello! Thanks for asking Wonder how many blind veterans there are in the US, by state. In short, after an exhaustive search through government, veterans, and disability-oriented sources, I've determined that the information you have requested is not publicly compiled. However, I was able to learn that there are about 20.78 million US veterans and approximately 228,000 of them are legally blind or visually impaired. Using this information, I was able to triangulate an estimate for each state. Below and in the attached spreadsheet, please find the results of my research.
I've searched extensively through public data sources, such as the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the US Census Fact Finder, the US Department of Veterans Affairs, the Disabled Veterans of America, the National Foundation for the Blind, the Blind Veterans Association, and the Social Security Administration. None of these sources provided statistics on blind veterans by state. I also searched state veterans associations and veterans benefits sources, but limited information was available. So, I looked for statistics on the total number of blind or visually impaired US veterans, along with the total number of veterans by state, so that I could triangulate an estimated figure for each state.
STATISTICS AND CALCULATIONS
The US Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) indicates there are 20,783,555 veterans in the United States. According to Vision Aware, there are approximately 158,000 legally blind US veterans and another 70,000 who have low vision, giving us a total of 228,000 blind or visually impaired veterans. Therefore, about 1.1% (228,000 / 20,783,555) of all US veterans are blind or visually impaired. This figure is rounded since 1.1% of 20,783,555 is actually 228,619.
These figures include Washington, D.C., Puerto Rico, and Island areas and foreign-living veterans. Applying the 1.1% to these regions, we get the following figures:
Puerto Rico: 945
Island areas and foreign: 1,231
Washington, D.C.: 318
Subtracting these figures from our 228,000 total, we get 225,506 blind or visually impaired veterans.
The VA offers a spreadsheet with the total number of veterans in each state. I have used this data and applied the 1.1% of veterans who are blind or visually impaired to the figures for each state to estimate the state totals. To confirm the accuracy of this method, I was able to find a reference to the number of blind veterans in Kentucky in 2011 (the most recent reference I could find). In that state, there are an estimated 3,000 blind veterans. According to the VA, there are 302,068 veterans living in Kentucky. Applying the 1.1% figure to this number, we get 3,322, suggesting that this calculation method is fairly accurate. The VA also states that about 7,000 veterans become blind or visually impaired every year. That figure represents about a 3% yearly increase, based on our initial figure of 228,000, so this may partially account for the differential in the quoted Kentucky figure and the estimated figure. When entering all the calculated figures for the 50 states into your provided spreadsheet, I get a sum of 226,105 blind or visually impaired veterans. The difference from our calculated figure of 225,506 can be accounted for due to rounding of the figures.
To sum up, there are approximately 228,000 blind or visually impaired US veterans. I've provided the requested data on the number of blind or visually impaired US veterans in each state in the attached spreadsheet.
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