State gets low rank for veterans
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.