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As of September 2022, there are just over 167,000 American veterans of World War II alive, according to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. Since most are over 90 years old, it is estimated that three in every 10 will pass away in 2023. More than 16 million people served in the U.S. Armed Forces during the war, which took the lives of 30-65 million people. To this date, the exact number of casualties remains unknown.

In September 1940, Congress sanctioned the Selective Training and Service Act, the first peacetime draft law in the nation's history. By then, most of Europe had been at war for a year. The legislation—also known as the Burke-Wadsworth Act—required men ages 21 to 45 to sign up for conscription. If inducted, they were appointed to serve for one year. When the U.S. officially entered the war, however, conscription limits were removed and service ran through the war's end.

The age of draftees was also lowered to 18 as the war developed, a change that ignited protests and a public campaign demanding the government lower the statutory age to vote. (Decades later, amidst the Vietnam War, this would prove to be the premise for the 26th Amendment, ratified in 1971.)

Over 36.5 million draft cards were issued during the time the U.S. fought in World War II; 10.1 million men were inducted between 1940 and 1947, which represented about 7.6% of the national population, according to estimates from the 1940 census. They joined 6 million volunteers in combat.

Stacker analyzed data quantifying draft numbers during World War II from multiple sources, including historical Census data, a report issued by the Selective Service System, and a WWII draft card project provided by Ancestry.com in association with the National Archives and Records Administration. Draft card data for Maine was not available; their draft cards were destroyed before being digitized. States are ranked by the number of inductees as a percentage of the total state population as estimated from the 1940 census.

mffoto // Shutterstock

- Number of men drafted: 3,564 (4.91% of the state population)

- Total number of Draft Cards issued: 22,518

--- 15.83% of draft cards called

S_Hoss // Shutterstock

- Number of men drafted: 21,456 (5.97% of the state population)

- Total number of Draft Cards issued: 86,651

--- 24.76% of draft cards called

QZ // Shutterstock

- Number of men drafted: 154,603 (6.09% of the state population)

- Total number of Draft Cards issued: 621,426

--- 24.88% of draft cards called

Joseph Sohm // Shutterstock

- Number of men drafted: 39,707 (6.18% of the state population)

- Total number of Draft Cards issued: 151,055

--- 26.29% of draft cards called

Tyler Olson // Shutterstock

- Number of men drafted: 39,895 (6.21% of the state population)

- Total number of Draft Cards issued: 380,297

--- 10.49% of draft cards called

Ken Schulze // Shutterstock

- Number of men drafted: 82,735 (6.29% of the state population)

- Total number of Draft Cards issued: 324,606

--- 25.49% of draft cards called

Canva

- Number of men drafted: 203,235 (6.48% of the state population)

- Total number of Draft Cards issued: 777,714

--- 26.13% of draft cards called

TLF Images // Shutterstock

- Number of men drafted: 151,883 (6.50% of the state population)

- Total number of Draft Cards issued: 580,191

--- 26.18% of draft cards called

kan_khampanya // Shutterstock

- Number of men drafted: 113,451 (6.53% of the state population)

- Total number of Draft Cards issued: 476,971

--- 23.79% of draft cards called

John Hoffman // Shutterstock

- Number of men drafted: 73,786 (6.57% of the state population)

- Total number of Draft Cards issued: 284,881

--- 25.90% of draft cards called

Bob Pool // Shutterstock

- Number of men drafted: 72,800 (6.68% of the state population)

- Total number of Draft Cards issued: 294,538

--- 24.72% of draft cards called

Wangkun Jia // Shutterstock

- Number of men drafted: 32,920 (6.70% of the state population)

- Total number of Draft Cards issued: 123,730

--- 26.61% of draft cards called

Sean Pavone // Shutterstock

- Number of men drafted: 209,589 (6.71% of the state population)

- Total number of Draft Cards issued: 845,405

--- 24.79% of draft cards called

Wangkun Jia // Shutterstock

- Number of men drafted: 292,439 (6.77% of the state population)

- Total number of Draft Cards issued: 1,056,985

--- 27.67% of draft cards called

barteverett // Shutterstock

- Number of men drafted: 122,470 (6.80% of the state population)

- Total number of Draft Cards issued: 428,140

--- 28.61% of draft cards called

Canva

- Number of men drafted: 438,232 (6.83% of the state population)

- Total number of Draft Cards issued: 2,225,880

--- 19.69% of draft cards called

ostreetphotography // Shutterstock

- Number of men drafted: 191,238 (6.85% of the state population)

- Total number of Draft Cards issued: 697,360

--- 27.42% of draft cards called

saraporn // Shutterstock

- Number of men drafted: 17,254 (6.88% of the state population)

- Total number of Draft Cards issued: 66,540

--- 25.93% of draft cards called

Nick Fox // Shutterstock

- Number of men drafted: 38,820 (6.94% of the state population)

- Total number of Draft Cards issued: 144,604

--- 26.85% of draft cards called

Joseph Sohm // Shutterstock

- Number of men drafted: 59,815 (7.06% of the state population)

- Draft card data not available

Sean Pavone // Shutterstock

- Number of men drafted: 272,180 (7.19% of the state population)

- Total number of Draft Cards issued: 956,325

--- 28.46% of draft cards called

Dancestrokes // Shutterstock

- Number of men drafted: 500,920 (7.25% of the state population)

- Total number of Draft Cards issued: 2,094,031

--- 23.92% of draft cards called

Susanne Pommer // Shutterstock

- Number of men drafted: 137,969 (7.26% of the state population)

- Total number of Draft Cards issued: 501,839

--- 27.49% of draft cards called

Sean Pavone // Shutterstock

- Number of men drafted: 138,619 (7.31% of the state population)

- Total number of Draft Cards issued: 545,128

--- 25.43% of draft cards called

Derek Olson Photography // Shutterstock

- Number of men drafted: 262,942 (7.36% of the state population)

- Total number of Draft Cards issued: 1,483,473

--- 17.72% of draft cards called

shuttersv // Shutterstock

- Number of men drafted: 143,682 (7.37% of the state population)

- Total number of Draft Cards issued: 395,488

--- 36.33% of draft cards called

Canva

- Number of men drafted: 210,599 (7.43% of the state population)

- Total number of Draft Cards issued: 764,045

--- 27.56% of draft cards called

Canva

- Number of men drafted: 41,061 (7.46% of the state population)

- Total number of Draft Cards issued: 145,410

--- 28.24% of draft cards called

Ramunas Bruzas // Shutterstock

- Number of men drafted: 53,235 (7.46% of the state population)

- Total number of Draft Cards issued: 186,940

--- 28.48% of draft cards called

GypsyPictureShow // Shutterstock

- Number of men drafted: 39,220 (7.47% of the state population)

- Total number of Draft Cards issued: 139,652

--- 28.08% of draft cards called

Herbert Heinsche // Shutterstock

- Number of men drafted: 39,944 (7.51% of the state population)

- Total number of Draft Cards issued: 141,042

--- 28.32% of draft cards called

Pierre Leclerc // Shutterstock

- Number of men drafted: 31,899 (7.54% of the state population)

- Total number of Draft Cards issued: 139,178

--- 22.92% of draft cards called

Canva

- Number of men drafted: 179,029 (7.57% of the state population)

- Total number of Draft Cards issued: 649,825

--- 27.55% of draft cards called

Canva

- Number of men drafted: 261,079 (7.62% of the state population)

- Total number of Draft Cards issued: 904,608

--- 28.86% of draft cards called

Real Window Creative // Shutterstock

- Number of men drafted: 220,619 (7.75% of the state population)

- Total number of Draft Cards issued: 738,534

--- 29.87% of draft cards called

Gregory E. Clifford // Shutterstock

- Number of men drafted: 39,069 (7.83% of the state population)

- Total number of Draft Cards issued: 141,706

--- 27.57% of draft cards called

Canva

- Number of men drafted: 172,136 (7.88% of the state population)

- Total number of Draft Cards issued: 564,513

--- 30.49% of draft cards called

marchello74 // Shutterstock

- Number of men drafted: 629,516 (7.97% of the state population)

- Total number of Draft Cards issued: 2,124,699

--- 29.63% of draft cards called

CrackerClips Stock Media // Shutterstock

- Number of men drafted: 233,993 (8.02% of the state population)

- Total number of Draft Cards issued: 764,556

--- 30.61% of draft cards called

Orhan Cam // Shutterstock

- Number of men drafted: 216,060 (8.07% of the state population)

- Total number of Draft Cards issued: 768,847

--- 28.10% of draft cards called

Vladimir Mucibabic // Shutterstock

- Number of men drafted: 424,335 (8.07% of the state population)

- Total number of Draft Cards issued: 1,462,490

--- 29.01% of draft cards called

f11photo // Shutterstock

- Number of men drafted: 139,629 (8.17% of the state population)

- Total number of Draft Cards issued: 488,632

--- 28.58% of draft cards called

Canva

- Number of men drafted: 1,108,799 (8.23% of the state population)

- Total number of Draft Cards issued: 3,802,625

--- 29.16% of draft cards called

Kamira // Shutterstock

- Number of men drafted: 345,236 (8.30% of the state population)

- Total number of Draft Cards issued: 1,168,325

--- 29.55% of draft cards called

Canva

- Number of men drafted: 158,533 (8.34% of the state population)

- Total number of Draft Cards issued: 524,336

--- 30.24% of draft cards called

photo.ua // Shutterstock

- Number of men drafted: 576,622 (8.35% of the state population)

- Total number of Draft Cards issued: 1,790,654

--- 32.20% of draft cards called

Canva

- Number of men drafted: 22,330 (8.38% of the state population)

- Total number of Draft Cards issued: 74,649

--- 29.91% of draft cards called

Real Window Creative // Shutterstock

- Number of men drafted: 158,121 (8.68% of the state population)

- Total number of Draft Cards issued: 536,962

--- 29.45% of draft cards called

Zack Frank // Shutterstock

- Number of men drafted: 866,264 (8.75% of the state population)

- Total number of Draft Cards issued: 2,660,878

--- 32.56% of draft cards called

Jacob Boomsma // Shutterstock

- Number of men drafted: 10,289 (9.33% of the state population)

- Total number of Draft Cards issued: 36,348

--- 28.31% of draft cards called

Orhan Cam // Shutterstock

- Number of men drafted: 64,243 (9.69% of the state population)

- Total number of Draft Cards issued: 212,943

--- 30.17% of draft cards called

*Data reporting by Sam Larson. Story editing by Brian Budzynski. Copy editing by Tim Bruns. Photo selection by Elizabeth Ciano.*