RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – The North Carolina Department of Veterans Affairs says more and more service members are moving to the state.

Thursday, Sec. Cornell Wilson announced for the first time North Carolina is No. 8 in veteran population size in the whole country.

“The veteran population and its economic impact in North Carolina is growing because of the hard work of our governor, and our folks all across the state servicing veterans,” said Wilson.

Wilson also said they’ve added eight more veteran service locations across the state.

Wake County’s veteran population has increased by 59,109 since September 2014.

Wilson added that the Department is streamlining the state’s professional licensure process for vets who have applicable military training and experience. There has been a $1 billion dollar increase in compensation awards to North Carolina Veterans and the state is number two in most improved rate of servicing veterans in the country.

“As the governor has said, if you can drive a truck in Afghanistan, you can drive a truck in North Carolina. Another example is military police. If you’re a policeman in military service, served in Afghanistan or Iraq or anywhere, you’re trained, then why do you have to take 575 hours of training to become a policeman in North Carolina,” said Wilson.

The announcement preceded a meeting of the Governor’s Working Group on Veterans, Service Members and Their Families.