This past Veterans Day, there were all the usual gestures of appreciation from the public, lawmakers, and companies who offer freebies to active and former members of the uniformed armed services. There are, however, far more substantive and perennial publicly funded services for the veterans who served their country.
All veterans are entitled to certain benefits, but there are state-specific, even city-specific benefits veterans can be entitled to. Some cities may not offer specific benefits, but they have a large community of vets, more jobs that can be suitable for veterans, or they offer more health services.
According to an index of 38 metrics created by data blog Lawnstarter, Minneapolis, Minnesota, ranks as the 14th best city for veterans out of the 200 largest U.S. cities. Minneapolis’s highest-ranking category in the index is employment and volunteering, which includes the number of veteran job fairs and vet friendly volunteer opportunities.
About 12,718 veterans live in Minneapolis, accounting for 3.7% of the city’s total population, according to five-year estimates from the U.S. Census Bureau’s American Community Survey.
A full explanation of the index, categories, and methodology used in this ranking is available from Lawnstarter’s report 2023’s Best Cities for Veterans.
|Rank||City||Overall index score||Best index category||Veteran population||Veterans as a share of total pop. (%)|
|1||Providence, RI||46.2||Medical & Mental Health Care||3,415||2.4|
|2||Salt Lake City, UT||41.7||Mental Health Care & Employment and Volunteering||7,065||4.4|
|3||Miami, FL||38.2||Mental Health Care||7,509||2.0|
|4||St. Louis, MO||35.4||Education and Training||15,797||6.4|
|5||Syracuse, NY||35.4||Medical Health Care||5,212||4.6|
|6||Des Moines, IA||34.7||Education and Training||9,633||5.9|
|7||Tampa, FL||34.4||Employment and Volunteering||21,233||6.9|
|8||Atlanta, GA||34.1||Employment and Volunteering||18,350||4.5|
|9||Dayton, OH||33.6||Mental Health Care||9,021||8.1|
|11||Madison, WI||32.9||Mental Health Care||9,345||4.3|
|12||Pittsburgh, PA||32.8||Education and Training||14,440||5.6|
|13||San Antonio, TX||32.5||Community||97,318||8.5|
|14||Minneapolis, MN||32.2||Employment and Volunteering||12,718||3.7|
|15||Grand Rapids, MI||31.9||Education and Training||7,176||4.6|
|16||Boston, MA||31.7||Employment and Volunteering & Safety||15,124||2.6|
|17||Jackson, MS||31.5||Mental Health Care||6,609||5.4|
|18||Sioux Falls, SD||31.4||Mental Health Care||8,914||6.6|
|19||McAllen, TX||31.1||Medical Health Care||3,385||3.4|
|20||Cincinnati, OH||31.1||Mental Health Care||13,030||5.5|
|22||Charleston, SC||30.8||Mental Health Care||9,105||8.0|