Patriotism can be hard to judge. There are some empirical numbers, though, that can allow a glimpse into behaviors and statistics useful in gauging just how patriotic people are. A new collection of data at the state levels show just which areas of the country have the most easily recognizable expressions of patriotism.
The number were crunched by WalletHub. To find their answers, they looked at 13 key behaviors.
- Average Military Enlistees per 1,000 Civilian
- Veterans per 1,000 Civilian Adults
- Active-Duty Military Personnel per 100,000 Civilian Adults
- Share of Civilian Adult Population in Military Reserves
- Share of Adults Who Voted in 2016 Presidential Election
- Share of Adults Who Voted in 2016 Primary Elections
- Volunteer Hours per Resident
- AmeriCorps Volunteers per Capita
- Peace Corps Volunteers per Capita
- Trial- & Grand-Jury Participation per Civilian Adult Population
- Frequency of Google Searches for American Flags
- Civics Education Requirement
Axios boiled down some of their findings and ranked the overall winners:
Top ten overall: Virginia, Alaska, Wyoming, South Carolina, Idaho, Colorado, Hawaii, Washington, North Carolina, Georgia.
11-20: Maine, South Dakota, New Hampshire, Oklahoma, Kansas, Maryland, Nebraska, Arizona, Vermont, Mississippi.
21-30: Utah, Nevada, Montana, New Mexico, Missouri, Alabama, North Dakota, Wisconsin, Iowa, Florida.
31-40: Texas, Ohio, Minnesota, Arkansas, Louisiana, Tennessee, Kentucky, Oregon, Indiana, West Virginia.
Bottom ten: Delaware, Pennsylvania, Michigan, California, Connecticut, New York, Illinois, Rhode Island, New Jersey, Massachusetts.
As is often the case with statistics, the numbers never tell the whole story. Axios provided a bit more extrapolation.
“Virginia, the top overall most patriotic state, was tenth overall for military engagement and fifth for civic engagement. Few states boasted high rankings in both categories,” they noted.
“Vermont was the most civically engaged, but the fortieth in military engagement. Alaska ranked first in military engagement, but thirty-fourth in civic engagement.” Odd how those two metrics were often opposite.
“Maine had a higher voter turnout in the 2016 election than any other state. Hawaii claimed the title for lowest voter turnout in that election.”
How about it? Are these the best indicators of a state’s patriotism? There are many other factors, too. Many of these states have large urban populations. Does that alter the results? Other states have large strategic importance for the military, which is often indicated by the number of installations, a detail that brings in soldiers, sailors, Marines and airmen from other states.
No matter how you shake it out, though, today’s the one day we all agree to put down our partisan politics and celebrate the naition’s humble beginnings.