Americans may feel their patriotism dampened this year amid the recent surge of protests against police brutality. Many people may find it hard to celebrate a country in which racist incidents persist. However, an expression of love for fellow citizens is patriotic in itself.
These protests come on the heels of another crisis that has made it difficult to have big displays of patriotism: the COVID-19 pandemic. Coronavirus has ravaged the U.S. and kept Americans apart from one another for months. While many states are starting to reopen, it’s unlikely that on July 4th we’ll see many grand parades, fireworks displays attended by hundreds of people, or massive cookouts celebrating our independence, since any of those activities could lead to a resurgence in the virus.
Some states may choose to hold big Independence Day events regardless, but it’s important to note that there are plenty of ways Americans can express patriotism year-round without having to attend a packed event. Some ways to show American pride include thanking our servicemembers, remaining politically active, buying U.S.-made goods, taking time to learn about our history or volunteering to help your fellow Americans.
In order to determine where Americans have the most red, white and blue pride, WalletHub compared the states across 13 key indicators of patriotism. Our data set ranges from the state’s military enlistees and veterans to the share of adults who voted in the 2016 presidential election to AmeriCorps volunteers per capita. Read on for our findings, expert commentary and a full description of our methodology.
Most Patriotic States in the U.S.
(1 = Most Patriotic)
|State||Total Score||‘Military Engagement’ Rank||‘Civic Engagement’ Rank|
Patriotism can be a complex subject, depending on who’s involved in the discussion. For insight, we asked a panel of experts to share their thoughts on the following key questions:
- What are the characteristics of a good patriot?
- What are the best ways for an individual to show patriotism during these trying times?
- What is the relative influence of economic incentives versus patriotic intentions when deciding whether to join the military? Has this changed over time?
- Is there a link between socio-economic class and level of patriotism?
- When evaluating the most patriotic states in America, what are the top five indicators?
- Has there been a shift in the way younger generations perceive and express their patriotism?
- Should we be raising our children as global citizens first or as Americans first?
- What measures should schools and local authorities undertake in order to promote patriotism among citizens?
Ask the Experts
To determine the most patriotic states, WalletHub compared the 50 states across two key dimensions, “Military Engagement” and “Civic Engagement.”
We evaluated those dimensions using 13 relevant metrics, which are listed below with their corresponding weights. Each metric was graded on a 100-point scale, with a score of 100 representing the highest level of patriotism.
Finally, we determined each city’s weighted average across all metrics to calculate its overall score and used the resulting scores to rank-order the states.
Military Engagement – Total Points: 25
- Average Military Enlistees per 1,000 Civilian Adults Between 2013 & 2018 (No Prior Service): Triple Weight (~12.50 Points)
- Veterans per 1,000 Civilian Adults: Full Weight (~4.17 Points)
- Active-Duty Military Personnel per 100,000 Civilian Adults: Full Weight (~4.17 Points)
- Share of Civilian Adult Population in Military Reserves: Full Weight (~4.17 Points)
Civic Engagement – Total Points: 75
- Share of Adults Who Voted in 2016 Presidential Election: Triple Weight (~22.50 Points)
- Share of Adults Who Voted in 2016 Primary Elections: Full Weight (~7.50 Points)
- Volunteer Rate: Half Weight (~3.75 Points)
- Volunteer Hours per Resident: Half Weight (~3.75 Points)
- AmeriCorps Volunteers per Capita: Half Weight (~3.75 Points)
- Peace Corps Volunteers per Capita: Half Weight (~3.75 Points)
- Trial- & Grand-Jury Participation per Civilian Adult Population: Full Weight (~7.50 Points)
- Share of Residents Who Participate in Groups or Organizations (Civic Life): Full Weight (~7.50 Points)
- Civics Education Requirement: Double Weight (~15.00 Points)
Sources: Data used to create this ranking were collected from the U.S. Census Bureau, Department of Veterans Affairs, Defense Manpower Data Center, Corporation for National & Community Service, Peace Corps, Military OneSource, United States Elections Project, Administrative Office of the United States Courts and Center for American Progress.