While enlistment rates in the U.S. military vary by group, they also vary by state. Enlistment ranges from less than 3 per thousand in North Dakota to more than 7 per thousand in Florida and Maine.
According to the Defense Department, differences exist at the regional level as well. In 2013, 44% of all military recruits came from the South, despite it having only 36% of the country’s 18-24 year-old civilian population.
By contrast, the Northeast was the most underrepresented region of the country; only 14% of new enlistments came from this area, compared to 18% of its 18-24 year-old population.
While the military says it isn’t concerned with the demographics of its recruits, is it fair to speculate as to which Americans volunteer to serve their country and why? What’s your take?