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The D.C. metropolitan area ranks number one in the nation for military veterans who are now entrepreneurs, according to a PenFed Foundation report released Tuesday.

The region retained the ranking in the PenFed report for the second year in a row for the top 20 cities for veteran business owners. The rankings are based on factors such as economic growth, ability to start a business, livability and support for veterans.

“D.C. ranks No. 2 for the highest concentration of veterans,” said PenFed Credit Union CEO James Schenck, WTOP reported. “It has one of the lowest veteran unemployment rates. D.C. ranks No. 1 in the Veteran Administration’s expenditures for veterans, and it ranks No. 2 for the number of VA-accredited attorneys.”  

Census data shows 7.5% of Washington-area businesses are veteran-owned. Plus, about one in five of the 200,000 people nationwide leaving the military for civilian life starts a business, WTOP reported.

The PenFed Foundation utilized 30 data sources such as government databases, private foundations, census data, and information from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs to compile the ranking of the cities. Rounding out the top five were the metro areas of New York City, Seattle, Dallas and Houston.

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