Thursday, August 28, 2008

Talk the Talk, March the March

Via LWY, I thought this was an interesting set of statistics - the demographics of enlisted soldiers in the US Military, the Reserve Officer Training Corps, and the US Military Academy. I think the most telling graphic is this one which lets you see the percentages in each state in terms of how many people they have in the military, the academy, or ROTC. The report focuses on dispelling the idea that the poor and minorities are overrepresented in the military:
Members of the all-volunteer military are sig­nificantly more likely to come from high-income neighborhoods than from low-income neighborhoods. Only 11 percent of enlisted recruits in 2007 came from the poorest one-fifth (quintile) of neighborhoods, while 25 per­cent came from the wealthiest quintile. These trends are even more pronounced in the Army Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) pro­gram, in which 40 percent of enrollees come from the wealthiest neighborhoods—a number that has increased substantially over the past four years.
What is striking is that on the graphic which shows the state numbers of enlisted personnel the bottom rungs are filled almost entirely by liberal states (color is from the 2004 election):
50) North Dakota (48th ROTC, 41st Academy)
49) Utah*
48) Rhode Island
47) Massachussets (43rd ROTC, 44th Academy)
46) New Jersey (40th ROTC)
45) Connecticut
44) New York (47th ROTC)
43) Delaware
42) Minnesota (41st ROTC, 40th Academy)
41) Vermont
40) California (50th ROTC, 43rd Academy)
* Presumably, Utah has low numbers because the Mormon population tends not to join the military.

Of 19 blue states in the 2004 election, 9 are in the bottom 11. Of 31 red states, just two are. (Actually, after Mississippi at 39 come Illinois, Pennsylvania, and Maryland - making it 12 of the bottom 15.) Just a few interesting statistics...