NerdWallet recently released its ranking for the 50 best cities in the United States for veterans and found that they don’t stray far from the military community. All the cities on the list have at least one military base nearby.

There’s also a large population of veterans. NerdWallet found about 8.6% of Americans are veterans, but in some cities on the list, the percentage of veterans in the population reaches nearly 28%.

Two key factors went into NerdWallet’s analysis: economic opportunity and community.

Economic opportunity represented 70% of a city’s score. NerdWallet identified public administration, manufacturing, transportation, warehousing and utilities as industries where there were at least 2% more veterans than civilian workers. Cities with more residents hired in those industries rated higher.

NerdWallet also considered data from the 2013 U.S. Census Bureau’s American Community Survey, like veterans’ unemployment rate, the percentage of veterans living under the poverty line and veterans’ median income. 

The remaining 30% of a city’s score is based on the percentage of residents who are veterans, also using data from the American Community Survey.

NerdWallet noted that it did not consider access to VA medical facilities as part of a city’s score because legislation approved by the Senate in late May opened access to non-VA facilities for veterans who were previously barred from seeking care from a private provider because they lived within 40 miles of a facility.

Here are the top 10 cities as ranked by NerdWallet.

Lake Stevens, Washington. (Photo: Wikimedia Commons)

10. Lake Stevens, Washington

  • Share of population: 11.6%
  • Veteran unemployment rate (2013): 4.7%
  • Median income among veterans: $54,804
  • Percentage of veterans below the poverty line: 2.9%

Vacaville, California Skyline. (Photo: Wikimedia Commons)

9. Vacaville, California

  • Share of population: 13.6%
  • Veteran unemployment rate (2013): 5.7%
  • Median income among veterans: $53,953
  • Percentage of veterans below the poverty line: 3.7%

Maricopa, Arizona Skyline. (Photo: Wikimedia Commons)

8. Maricopa, Arizona

  • Share of population: 14.3%
  • Veteran unemployment rate (2013): 3.1%
  • Median income among veterans: $49,093
  • Percentage of veterans below the poverty line: 4.2%

Chesapeake Railroad is a shortline railroad in Chesapeake, Virginia. (Photo: Wikimedia Commons)

7. Chesapeake, Virginia

  • Share of population: 15.2%
  • Veteran unemployment rate (2013): 2.9%
  • Median income among veterans: $50,956
  • Percentage of veterans below the poverty line: 3.1%

Sierra Vista, Arizona Public Library. (Photo: Wikimedia Commons)

6. Sierra Vista, Arizona

  • Share of population: 27.6%
  • Veteran unemployment rate (2013): 3.8%
  • Median income among veterans: $56,675
  • Percentage of veterans below the poverty line: 7.4%

Schertz, Texas road sign.

5. Schertz, Texas

  • Share of population: 21.8%
  • Veteran unemployment rate (2013): 3.8%
  • Median income among veterans: $61,037
  • Percentage of veterans below the poverty line: 2.4%

Papillion, Nebraska City Hall. (Photo: Wikimedia Commons)

4. Papillion, Nebraska

  • Share of population: 15.5%
  • Veteran unemployment rate (2013): 18.5%
  • Median income among veterans: $65,219
  • Percentage of veterans below the poverty line: 0.0%

Goodyear, Arizona Ballpark. (Photo: Wikimedia Commons)

3. Goodyear, Arizona

  • Share of population: 14.6%
  • Veteran unemployment rate (2013): 1.5%
  • Median income among veterans: $44,372
  • Percentage of veterans below the poverty line: 1.5%

Madison, Alabama (Photo: Wikimedia Commons)

2. Madison, Alabama

  • Share of population: 15.5%
  • Veteran unemployment rate (2013): 4.2%
  • Median income among veterans: $71,425
  • Percentage of veterans below the poverty line: 2.6%

Greene Town Center mall in Beavercreek, Ohio. (Photo: Wikimedia Commons)

1. Beavercreek, Ohio

  • Share of population: 19.0%
  • Veteran unemployment rate (2013): 3.2%
  • Median income among veterans: $68,989
  • Percentage of veterans below the poverty line: 1.4%

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