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Expect the last World War II veteran to die around 2038

Timeline for WWII veterans

We know that the last World War I veteran just died at 110. Can you tell us how many World War II veterans are still alive, how many are dying every day, and then estimate when will the last one will be around?

Frank Buckles of West Virginia was the last U.S. veteran of World War I. He enlisted at 16 and drove ambulances for the Army in Europe. He died Feb. 27 at 110 and was buried March 15 at Arlington National Cemetery.

According to Department of Veteran Affairs estimates, there are about 1.8 million World War II veterans still living and an estimated 850 die every day. Over time, both their numbers will continue to shrink.

The VA estimates that the number of living World War II veterans will be 1,711,000 by Sept. 30, about 446,000 on Sept. 30, 2018, and about 57,000 on Sept. 30, 2025.

Ninety-three years passed from the end of World War I to the death of its last veteran. If that were to be repeated, the last World War II veteran would die about 2038.

For more information about America's wars and veterans, see www1.va.gov/opa/publications/factsheets/fs_americas_wars.pdf.

Understanding percentiles

What does it mean to be in the 95th percentile? What is the difference among mean, median and mode?

Percentiles tend to be tricky, but generally speaking, if you're in the 95th percentile of anything you're in reasonably rare company.

For example, if you're in the 95th percentile in school test scores, where percentiles are most commonly used, it would mean your test performance equals or exceeds 95 out of 100 students on the same measure. (Note: Percentile is not the same thing as percent. A percentile of 95 doesn't mean you answered 95 percent of the test questions correctly.)

Percentiles are calculated from raw scores using the norms obtained from testing a large population. It's a comparison score that relates a number to the performance of similar students.

To the second part of your question:

• Median is the number that's in the middle of a set of numbers. If five children score 82, 82, 87, 97 and 99 on a test, to find the median score you would arrange the numbers from low to high (82, 82, 87, 97, 99). The number in the middle, 87, is the median. This is sometimes incorrectly confused with the mean.

• Mean is the average. So using the same test scores we had in the median example, we add the test scores and divide by the numbers of figures that were added together. The sum is 447. There were five test scores, so we divide 447 by 5 to get the mean, which is 89.4.

• Mode is the number repeated most often in a series of numbers. In the example above, the mode is 82. If no number in a series is repeated, there is no mode. If several numbers in a series are repeated, you may have several modes.

Expect the last World War II veteran to die around 2038 04/03/11 [Last modified: Sunday, April 3, 2011 4:30am]
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