State gets low rank for vet­er­ans

Starkville Daily News - - FRONT PAGE -

SDN STAFF RE­PORT

De­spite a big mil­i­tary and vet­er­ans pop­u­la­tion with bases in Colum­bus, Meridian and the Gulf Coast, Mis­sis­sippi is ranked as only the 43rd best state in the na­tion for vet­er­ans, ac­cord­ing to a new sur­vey.

Ac­cord­ing to the sur­vey by the per­sonal-fi­nance web­site Wal­lethub, Mis­sis­sippi does well in some ar­eas of the broad sur­vey but is dragged down by its health care rank, which was 49th out of the 50 states and the Dis­trict of Co­lum­bia.

The state ranks 22nd in eco­nomic en­vi­ron­ment for vet­er­ans and 32nd in qual­ity of life.

The re­sults vary for states across the South­east with Florida, not sur­pris­ingly, rank­ing tops in the sur­vey. Alabama is fourth, South Carolina fifth and Texas 10th.

On the flip side, Ten­nessee is only slightly bet­ter than Mis­sis­sippi at 38th.

Mis­sis­sippi has the low­est per­cent­age of home­less vet­er­ans in the na­tion, ac­cord­ing to the rank­ings. Alabama was third in that cat­e­gory, fifth in the most job op­por­tu­ni­ties for vet­er­ans and sec­ond in the per­cent­age of veteran-owned busi­nesses.

The state ranks 37th in vet­er­ans

per capita, 46th in the num­ber of VA health fa­cil­i­ties per num­ber of

vet­er­ans, 27th in veteran job op­por­tu­ni­ties, and 20th in house af­ford­abil­ity.

Mis­sis­sippi’s eco­nomic en­vi­ron­ment gets good marks be­cause

of a rel­a­tively low tax on mil­i­tary pen­sions, pref­er­ence given to veteran hir­ing, dol­lars in de­fense con­tracts, hous­ing af­ford­abil­ity and vet­er­ans as­sis­tance pro­grams

such as the Sonny Mont­gomery Cen­ter for Vet­er­ans at Mis­sis­sippi State.

But the state lost points for health care be­cause of the low

num­ber of physi­cians per capita, to­tal med­i­cal fa­cil­i­ties per capita, the avail­abil­ity of VA fa­cil­i­ties and the qual­ity of VA fa­cil­i­ties, the rank­ing;s au­thors said.

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