Here’s a fun read to prepare for our sacred July 4th Independence Day:
How patriotic is the state where you live? Or wish you did? Or grew up in?
I’ve been to all 50 states for one reason or another, lived in 11 of them, 10 for school or work. However, I had never thought of states beyond red-blue, humid-dry, green-brown, ocean-rivers, flat-mountains.
But the folks over at the personal finance and credit-monitoring service WalletHub.com have devised an imaginative matrix to determine Patriotism by State, according to 13 metrics such as military enlistees, veterans, voter participation, jury-duty participation, and volunteering rate.
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(Yes, sure, go over there and argue the criteria. They even have an interactive map.)
The findings are timely given our divisive politically-partisan days and also revealing about the demographic characteristics of each political subdivision of our nation. The results both support some popular beliefs and dispel others.
Overall, it turns out:
Red states are the most patriotic. (You probably knew that.)
New Jersey had the highest voter-participation rate last November at 78.3 percent, Arkansas the worst with 54 percent.
Alaska has the most military veterans per 1,000 civilian adults at 137 vs. New York the least with 51.
Residents of Utah volunteer to help their neighbors and communities more than any other state at 51 percent. In fact, they volunteer more than twice as much as the residents of Florida, the bottom-ranking volunteer state with 23 percent and so many ex-New Yorkers.
(Tennessee, the nation’s official Volunteer State from Civil War days, comes in 30th overall at 31.3 percent, 34th in terms of total volunteer hours, 29th for AmeriCorps volunteers, and 42d for Peace Corps volunteers.)
OK, you’ve waited long enough. Overall, WalletHub found the most patriotic state of all 50 has a Big Sky. It’s Montana, 43d-ranked in population but fourth in area (a little larger than three New Yorks).
Others in descending order of the Top 20 were:
Alaska, Maryland, Vermont, New Hampshire, North Dakota, Wyoming, Minnesota, Oregon, Virginia, Utah, Idaho, Wisconsin, Washington, Arizona, Iowa, Kentucky, Missouri, South Carolina, and Colorado
In terms of WalletHub’s patriotism rankings, No. 21 through No. 40 were: Delaware, Maine, Hawaii, Ohio, North Carolina, Nevada, Nebraska, New Mexico, Georgia, Tennessee, Kansas, Oklahoma, Indiana, Alabama, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Louisiana, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, and Mississippi.
The bottom 10, the least patriotic states, also contained some surprises to my eyes. They were: Texas at No. 41, West Virginia, Arkansas, New Jersey, Illinois, California, Michigan, Connecticut, Florida, and, of course, at the bottom, New York.
Did you happen to notice a modest pattern in those bottom 10? A majority of the least patriotic states have elected Democrats to govern them.
Probably just coincidence.