The 10 Most - and 10 Least - Patriotic States in America

While plenty of Americans enjoy the outdoor BBQs and boozy fireworks displays often associated with the Fourth of July, a new study at WalletHub shows patriotism among Americans has been steadily decreasing—down nearly 10 percent from 2011.


Analyzing 12 metrics, including military engagement, voting habits and civil-education requirements, the study ranked states by “military engagement rank” and “civic engagement rank,” to determine which rank the highest and which the lowest for patriotism.

Here they are.

10 Most Patriotic States

  1. Virginia
  2. Alaska
  3. South Carolina
  4. Colorado
  5. Georgia
  6. Hawaii
  7. Montana
  8. Alabama
  9. Washington
  10. New Hampshire

10 Least Patriotic States

  1. New Jersey
  2. Connecticut
  3. New York
  4. Rhode Island
  5. Illinois
  6. Massachusetts
  7. Pennsylvania
  8. California
  9. Michigan
  10. Louisiana

Perhaps unsurprisingly, three of the five states (Georgia, Alaska and South Carolina) with the highest percentage of residents who enlisted in the military landed on the “most patriotic states” list. Among the states with the lowest enlistment rate, New Jersey, Massachusetts and Rhode Island were also among the “least patriotic” locales. Veterans per capita, Peace Corps volunteers per capita, voting percentages, and volunteer rates similarly correlated with patriotism.

The study also found a divide among political affiliation: States that voted Republican in 2012 were more patriotic than those which voted Democrat.

Stanford University professor Bruce E. Cain, who analyzed the data set, said it’s imperative that schools and local authorities focus on the patriotic divide in the United States. “We really need to revamp civic education to teach better political and collaborative skills to solve problems,” Bruce wrote in his analysis. “We cannot continue to be polarized into different groups, posturing and posing rather than negotiating and compromising to work for the collective good.”

Read more about the study and find out where your state ranked at WalletHub.

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