Veterans make an average of $36,381 a year, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. And while that is a higher average than the rest of the population -- $25,820 -- it doesn’t mean they can afford to be frivolous.
So where should veterans live in order to get the biggest bang for their buck? Lincoln, Neb., according to WalletHub’s latest study. It is not only the fourth best economic situation for veterans, but is also second to only Honolulu when it comes to veteran density, recreation, emotional health, weather and crime, as well as veteran-friendly hospitals and colleges.
The WalletHub map ranks the most populated cities in America according to “economic wellness” and “environment, education and health” for veterans. The bluest cities are the best, and the brightest orange are worst.
Following Lincoln, Neb., the best cities for veterans are, respectively: Gilbert, Ariz.; Irvine, Calif.; Madison, Wis.; Boise, Idaho; Omaha, Neb.; Chesapeake, Va.; Laredo, Texas; Raleigh, N.C.; and Mesa, Ariz.
As for the veterans looking for something specific, WalletHub thought about them as well. According to their rankings, Fremont, Calif., has the highest density of jobs that require military-related skills; Washington, D.C., has the best wage growth for veterans; Hialeah, Fla., has the lowest unemployment rate for veterans, but also the smallest percentage of veterans; and while Virginia Beach has the most veterans per capita and the lowest percentage of homeless veterans, it also has the highest unemployment rate for veterans.
However, no matter what veterans are looking for, it’s probably not in Newark or Chicago. WalletHub ranked them as the two worst cities for veterans, respectively.