Study Highlights Growing Military-Civilian Gap

A new Pew Research Center study finds that fewer younger Americans have a direct family connection to the military than older Americans. According to Pew, just one-half of one percent of Americans served in the armed forces at any given time during the last decade, a smaller share of the population than at any time since the period between World War I and World War II. The center surveyed more than 2,000 civilian adults and almost 1,900 veterans, including 700 who have served after 9/11. Its researchers found that only one-third of respondents between the ages of 18 to 29 reported having an immediate family member—a spouse, parent, sibling, or child—currently or formerly in the military. That’s down significantly from the more than three-quarters of civilian adults aged 50 and older, and 57 percent of civilian adults between the ages of 30 to 49 who said they had that immediate connection. Pew’s study, issued on Nov. 23, also found that whites, southerners, and Republicans tended to have those immediate family ties more so than other demographic groups. (AFPS report by Donna Miles) (Pew release and more detailed study findings)