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A snapshot of Pickens’ veteran population

Learn more about our veterans in a special online data story





Click on the image above to link to the full online infographic. 

     The Veterans Administration recently announced it will open a clinic in Pickens County to provide medical services to veterans here and in surrounding areas. We thought it was worthwhile to take a look at the local veteran population and how it compares to other county, state, and national populations.  

     Using estimates from the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2011-2015 American Community Survey, Lisa Schnellinger of NearMedia LLC  developed interactive digital graphics about Pickens County veterans, which can be found at These graphics include information about the veteran population size, education, salary, unemployment, disability and period of service.

American Community Survey data is an estimate, but is the most accurate and current information available for counties with small populations. The graphics include only data that is statistically significant when considering the margin of error.

     According to the survey data, Pickens County has a larger proportion of veterans than both Georgia and the United States. Vets in Pickens make up about 12.2 percent of the population (an estimated 2,877 veterans). In Georgia, veterans make up about 9 percent of the total population based on the same survey, and in the U.S. they make up 8.3 percent. 

The interactive graphic lets the user scroll through a ranking of all Georgia’s counties to find out each one’s ranking and total veteran population. Pickens County has the 18th highest veteran population of the state’s 159 counties.

     ACS data also shows that Pickens County’s veterans are older and have a higher rate of disability. Of Pickens’ entire veteran population, 55 percent are 65 years or older, compared to 38 percent across Georgia and 47 percent in the U.S. Eighty percent of veterans in Pickens are 55 or older.

Disabled vets here make up 32 percent of the total veteran population, compared to 26 percent in Georgia.

     Pickens County’s veterans tend to be better educated and have a significantly higher salary than non-vets here, according to survey results. In Pickens County, 41 percent of veterans have a degree. Only 23 percent of non-veterans here have a degree. In Georgia, 28 percent of Georgia veterans have a degree. In the U.S. that average drops to 27 percent. 

On average, veterans make more money than non-veterans. The median income for vets in Pickens, Ga. and the U.S. is about 50 to 60 percent higher than non-veterans.

     The data shows that Vietnam veterans are by far the largest group in Pickens by period of service, making up 50.5 percent of the total veteran population. The interactive graphic allows users to compare periods of service in Pickens County to state and national populations.

     Visit where you will find the full infographic. Users are invited to play around with graphs, click on what interests them and learn more about veterans in Pickens County. 

Contact Lisa Schnellinger, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for technical notes or more information. 


Native Outsider
-2 #1 Native Outsider 2017-08-19 08:57
Interesting information. Some questions come to mind:

Is median income of local veterans skewed by the presence of Big Canoe, Bent Tree, and other high end residential communities, adding more "local" veterans of higher education and therefore higher income? Of course, a big move is afoot here to reduce funding for education here, for the benefit of a few.

Income of veterans may be enhanced by other veteran's benefits and perks. Financial support for home loan programs also allows veterans to attain more wealth, as well as low- or no cost medical care. Access to affordable medical care is shown to raise income, especially for the disabled. (The services advertise these benefits as a recruitment tool. Many sign up for the school funding benefits--to escape local economies that offer no opportunity. The GOP wants to destroy access for all to affordable care.)

That Pickens, and the Southern Highlands in general, have a higher than average number of veterans may be in keeping with our fighting tradition, too, as Senator Jim Webb's book, Born Fighting, How the Scots Irish Shaped America, claims.

Or, does more veterans among us just come down to the lack of economic opportunity? As Steve Earle says, in his famous song Copperhead Road:

I volunteered for the Army on my birthday
They draft the white trash first, 'round here anyway
0 #2 Kilroy 2017-08-23 10:51
Hello 'Native Outsider'

You're obviously NOT a veteran who gets all these fantastic 'perks' and obviously not a Repiblican.

Just what are you ??

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