Irvine and Santa Ana Make Competing Lists of Best Places in America for Military Veterans

Happy Veterans Day!
Happy Veterans Day!
Photo by flickr user Dragon Online

Three is a charm for Irvine and Santa Ana, as Irvine has been named the third best city in the country for military veterans and Santa Ana has been deemed the third best U.S. city for mid-career veterans, according to separate surveys.

Just in time for Veterans Day, the financial site WalletHub.com crunched data on such metrics as the percentage of military skill-related jobs, the availability of VA health facilities and the percentage of veterans living below the poverty line in the 100 most populated American cities.

In the end, Lincoln, Neb., at No. 1 and runner up Gilbert, Ariz., edged out Irvine, which also finished second in the country (to No. 1 Washington, D.C.) in highest veteran wage growth.

On the overall list, Santa Ana was the next best Orange County city for veterans, at No. 64, followed by Anaheim at No. 65. Long Beach came in at No. 80, San Bernardino was 97th and pulling up the rear was Newark, N.J. at 100.

Santa Ana was No. 99--1 being best, 100 being worst--in the highest veteran population, according to WalletHub, which had Long Beach at 89th in highest number of homeless veterans per veterans population.

Cited sources were: the U.S. Census Bureau, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, the Council for Community and Economic Research, U.S. News & World Report, Gallup Healthways and WalletHub Research.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation's Hiring Our Heroes program and USAA, the family of companies that provide insurance, banking, investment, retirement products and advice to 10.4 million current and former members of the U.S. military and their families, commissioned the 2014 "Best Places for Veterans: Mid-Career" list that has Santa Ana at No. 3, behind No. 2 San Antonio and No. 1 Houston.

Sperling's BestPlaces and the Institute for Veterans and Military Families at Syracuse University actually created the list that "evaluated several key job market indicators such as veteran wage growth, certification and license transfer, availability of jobs in top industries employing veterans today and unemployment rates. The study also factored in other issues important to the military community including access to healthcare."

Santa Ana was the only California city to crack the top 10.

Email: mcoker@ocweekly.com. Twitter: @MatthewTCoker. Follow OC Weekly on Twitter @ocweekly or on Facebook!


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