How patriotic are you?
As July 4th approaches, WalletHub recently conducted a survey to see which state’s residents have exhibited the most pride in being American. While the global health crisis and protests over police brutality and systemic racism toward the Black community have cast a shadow over whatever patriotism Americans may feel this year, the personal finance website attempted to measure that pride through other metrics: namely military and civic engagement.
Nine professors were consulted for the study, including those from Nazareth College, Connecticut College, Temple University, Bowling Green State University, University of Memphis, Purdue University, Hope College, Cleveland State University and Northwestern University. All of them were asked what characteristics make a good patriot, the top five indicators of patriotism and the link between socio-economic class and patriotism, among other things.
To gauge military engagement, WalletHub looked at the average number of military enlistees per 1,000 civilian adults between 2013 and 2018, the number of veterans per 1,000 adults, the number of active military personnel per 100,000 adults and the percentage of the civilian adult population that is in the military reserves.
As far as civic engagement is concerned, the website looked at a number of factors: the percentage of adults who voted in the 2016 presidential election, the percentage of those who voted in the 2016 primary elections, volunteer rate, the average number of volunteer hours per resident, the number of AmeriCorps volunteers per capita, the number of Peace Corps volunteers per capita, the percentage of adults who have participated in a trial or grand jury, the number of residents who are involved in a civic organization and which states have a civic education requirement.
Using these measurements, WalletHub determined that the top five states that are “most patriotic” are, in order, New Hampshire, Wyoming, Idaho, Alaska and Maryland. The country’s three most populous states — California, Texas and New York — ranked in the bottom four. The “least patriotic” state, however, was New Jersey, which ranked second-to-last in military engagement and in the bottom 10 in civic engagement.
To break the rankings down further, WalletHub pointed out that Georgia has the highest average number of military enlistees while North Dakota has the lowest. Vermont has the most peace corps volunteers per capita and Mississippi has the fewest. In regards to voting, WalletHub found that Maine had the highest percentage of adults who voted in the 2016 presidential elections while Hawaii had the lowest. But perhaps the most interesting tidbit to come out of the study is that the website found that red states have generally been more patriotic than blue states.
All of this is to say that residents in some states seem more actively involved in the military and community initiatives compared to others. So if you live in a state that’s considered among the least patriotic and want to show your pride, consider joining a civic-focused program (given that parades and other Independence Day celebrations will be limited this year).
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