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Not everyone defines the word “patriotism” the same way. But most people across the U.S. associate it with the following: 

  • Readiness to defend your country as a member of the armed forces
  • Volunteering as an act of civic responsibility and engagement
  • Exercising your right to vote

When July 4th comes around, pro-USA fervor is palpable in some neighborhoods and more subdued in others. 

So, for those interested in moving to an area that’s more (or less) patriotic—or in seeing how their state ranks on patriotism—WalletHub released new research comparing the states across 13 key indicators, including: 

  • Number of military enlistees and veterans
  • Share of adults who voted in the 2020 presidential election
  • AmeriCorps volunteers per capita

Here’s what they found. 

The most—and least—patriotic states in America

The total patriotism score for each state combined scores for both military and civic indicators. 

Read on to learn the 10 most patriotic states in the U.S., as well as the 10 least. From there, we’ll take a closer look at how each state ranked for military engagement and civic responsibility. 


Source: WalletHub

The 10 most patriotic states in America: 

  1. Virginia (with a score of 64.34)
  2. Alaska (63.40)
  3. Montana (61.73)
  4. Maine (58.42)
  5. Oregon (57.65)
  6. Colorado (57.64)
  7. New Hampshire (57.16)
  8. Washington (57.11)
  9. Maryland (57.04)
  10. Hawaii (56.53)

The 10 least patriotic states:

  1. Arkansas (with a total patriotism score of 26.19)
  2. New York (32.09)
  3. Massachusetts (32.20)
  4. Rhode Island (32.65)
  5. Florida (33.64)
  6. Indiana (34.76)
  7. Louisiana (34.85)
  8. Alabama (35.54)
  9. Connecticut (36.26)
  10. West Virginia (36.92)

Military and Civic Engagement

This category takes into account both military enlistment (active-duty and veterans) and voter turnout in the 2020 presidential election. Here are some of the stats for the three top-ranking patriotic states. 

  • Virginia has almost 1,900 active-duty military personnel per 100,000 civilians and 107 veterans for every 1,000 civilians. 
  • Alaska has 3,500 active-duty personnel per 100,000 civilians and 134 veterans for every 1,000 civilians. 
  • Montana has 104 veterans for every 1,000 civilians—and a voter turnout of 73.5% in the 2020 presidential election.

States with the highest number of military enlistees

  1. Georgia
  2. Alaska
  3. Texas
  4. South Carolina
  5. Hawaii

States with the lowest numbers of military enlistees:

  1. North Dakota
  2. Vermont
  3. Rhode Island
  4. Massachusetts
  5. Minnesota

The difference between the state with the highest military enlistment (Georgia) and the one with the lowest (North Dakota) is threefold. 

Veterans per capita

Another measure of military engagement is the number of veterans per capita. The numbers don’t take into account the motives behind joining the military (financial benefits versus the desire to serve in that capacity) or the degree of pride associated with it. 

Generally speaking, those who served our country in the armed forces are proud to have done so, and their loved ones share that pride—in them as well as in the country they call home.

States with the highest numbers of veterans per capita

  1. Alaska
  2. Virginia
  3. Wyoming
  4. Montana
  5. Hawaii

States with the lowest numbers of veterans per capita

  1. New Jersey
  2. New York
  3. California
  4. Massachusetts
  5. Utah

Alaska, the state with the highest number of veterans per capita, has three times the number compared to New Jersey, which has the fewest veterans per capita. 

Civic responsibility and engagement

To determine each state’s Civic Engagement Rank, WalletHub ranked them according to—

  • Voter turnout in 2020
  • Number of AmeriCorps volunteers 
  • Number of Peace Corps volunteers

States with the highest share of voters turning out for the 2020 presidential election

  1. New Jersey
  2. Minnesota 
  3. Oregon
  4. New Hampshire
  5. Maryland and Wisconsin (tied at #5)

States with the lowest voter turnout in 2020

  1. Arkansas 
  2. West Virginia
  3. Oklahoma
  4. South Dakota
  5. Alabama

Read the full article for more details.