Americans may feel their patriotism dampened this year amid the recent surge in racial injustice, including police brutality and a rise in hate crimes against Asian Americans. 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 troubles come on the heels of another crisis that has made it difficult to have big displays of patriotism: the COVID-19 pandemic. However, we can be proud of the researchers who made the vaccine possible. In addition, most people should have a lot more freedom to attend events on July 4th this year compared to last year, when celebrations were largely canceled.
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 2020 presidential election to AmeriCorps volunteers per capita.
Most Patriotic States in the U.S.
|Overall Rank||State||Total Score||Military Engagement||Civic Engagement|
Note: With the exception of “Total Score,” all of the columns in the table above depict the relative rank of that state, where a rank of 1 represents the best conditions for that metric category.
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 (~10.71 Points)
- Veterans per 1,000 Civilian Adults: Full Weight (~3.57 Points)
- Active-Duty Military Personnel per 100,000 Civilian Adults: Double Weight (~7.14 Points)
- Share of Civilian Adult Population in Military Reserves: Full Weight (~3.57 Points)
Civic Engagement – Total Points: 75
- Share of Adults Who Voted in 2020 Presidential Election: Double Weight (~16.67 Points)
- Share of Adults Who Voted in 2020 Primary Elections: Full Weight (~8.33 Points)
- Volunteer Rate: Half Weight (~4.17 Points)
- Volunteer Hours per Resident: Half Weight (~4.17 Points)
- AmeriCorps Volunteers per Capita: Half Weight (~4.17 Points)
- Peace Corps Volunteers per Capita: Half Weight (~4.17 Points)
- Trial- & Grand-Jury Participation per Civilian Adult Population: Double Weight (~16.67 Points)
- Share of Residents Who Participate in Groups or Organizations (Civic Life): Full Weight (~8.33 Points)
- Civics Education Requirement: Full Weight (~8.33 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.