No. 1: Virginia
Virginia is a great state for veterans in the labor market, given that 58.7% of veterans there are employed and their average earnings are 1.6 times higher than nonveterans—better rates than anywhere else in the U.S.
No. 2: Wyoming
Wyoming scores well for both subcategories (8th for the veteran labor market and 6th for entrepreneurship), helping drive it up to the No. 2 spot overall. The state saw a 42.7% increase in new business applications year over year, the highest rate in the country, plus the median income for veterans is 1.4 times higher than that of nonveterans.
No. 3: Oregon
Oregon lands in the middle of the pack for the veteran labor market, but its strong environment for entrepreneurs helped propel it to the No. 3 ranking. The state reports 96.4 patents per 100,000 population, while 58.4% of startups survive at least five years, the highest rate in the U.S.
No. 4: West Virginia
In West Virginia, 7.3% of businesses are owned by veterans, whose median earnings are 1.4 times as high as those of nonveterans. Further, its startup survival rate is 55%, and it saw 25.9% yearly growth in new businesses.
No. 5: South Dakota
In 2022, 58.5% of South Dakota’s veterans were employed, while 6.1% of businesses are veteran-owned. Meanwhile, 55.7% of startups survive at least five years, the second-highest rate after Oregon.
No. 6: Massachusetts
Massachusetts has a high rate of patents (125.6 per 100,000) and a high startup survival rate (55%), driving it to the best state in the entrepreneurship subcategory. Its veteran workers perform fairly well, with 5.2% of businesses owned by veterans and 46.2% of veterans being employed.
No. 7: Alaska
Alaska’s veterans earn 1.5 times as much as nonveterans, based on median income in 2022. It also has one of the highest employment rates for veterans, at 57.5%.
No. 8: New Hampshire
New Hampshire has one of the highest rates of veteran-owned businesses, at 7.7%, and it saw 80 patents filed per 100,000 population in 2020.
No. 9: New Mexico
Veterans in New Mexico out-earn nonveterans by a ratio of 1.6—the third-highest ratio in the U.S. after Virginia and Alabama. The state also saw 32.8% year-over-year growth in new business applications, behind only Wyoming.
No. 10: Maryland
Maryland was propelled to the top 10 by its high level of veteran employment (54.3%) and strong income ratio, given veterans’ median income is 1.4 times higher than nonveterans’.