Report: Tampa Is Best American City for Veterans

World War II veteran Stanley Byars, 92, of Atlanta, center, holds his hat during the singing of the National Anthem at a ceremony awarding the French Legion of Honor medal to Byars and fellow veterans by the Consul General of France at the Capitol Thursday, June 4, 2015, in Atlanta. …
AP Photo/David Goldman

The United States Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) reports there are more than 19 million veterans living in the United States, and according to the financial website WalletHub, some cities in America are better places for veterans to live than others. Tampa rates best.

WalletHub compared the 100 largest U.S. cities using 20 key indicators of livability, affordability, and veteran-friendliness. Those indicators included the number of military skill-related jobs, income growth, and VA health facilities.

Based on these indicators Tampa, Florida, came out as the number one city for veterans, while Detroit came in last.

WalletHub also reported on the challenges facing American veterans: 

Where veterans live can contribute to the problem. Although unemployment and homelessness have declined nationally for this group, such issues are simply worse in certain parts of America. Throughout the U.S., over 37,800 veterans still find themselves without a home. However, there is some good news on the healthcare front. Many VA hospitals have improved their conditions recently. In addition, a recent bill passed in the House of Representatives aims to make the VA’s website more accessible to veterans with disabilities.

Rounding out the top ten veteran-friendly cities, in order, are Austin, Texas; Orlando, Florida; Raleigh, North Carolina; Scottsdale, Arizona; Colorado Springs, Colorado; Virginia Beach, Virginia; Gilbert, Arizona; St. Petersburg, Florida; and Jacksonville, Florida.

The bottom cities – 91 to Detroit at 100 – are North Las Vegas, Nevada; New Orleans, Louisiana; Chicago, Illinois; Toledo, Ohio; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Indianapolis, Indiana; Memphis, Tennessee; Jersey City, New Jersey; and Newark, New Jersey.

Some other highlights gleaned from the report: 

  • 79 percent of military personnel think that military members should not have to pay interest on debt when deployed in a war zone and 86 percent of civilians agree.
  • 73 percent of Americans think military members should be excused from paying income taxes while deployed.
  • 63 percent of Americans say firefighters, police, EMS and other first responders would get the same credit perks and military members.
  • 55 percent of Americans think banks and credit unions don’t do enough to honor the military.
  • 190 million Americans don’t think the military does enough to teach financial literacy.

Find the entire city rankings here.

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