Top 20 most patriotic states in 2021 - some surprises in this list

AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta

The results in a survey caught my attention so I thought it would be a good time to share the findings. The WalletHub survey measures all fifty states using 13 key indicators of patriotism. The top 20 most patriotic states in 2021 my surprise you. It was a surprise to me to find that my own state, the country’s largest red state doesn’t make the cut.


WalletHub is a personal finance website. Summer travel season is here and the Independence Day holiday is just around the corner. Half of Americans age 12 and older are fully vaccinated and most states have fully reopened. For patriotically-minded vacationers, this list provides some data that can offer suggestions on how you and your family spend your hard-earned vacation dollars. Otherwise, think of this as a palate cleanser after a long day. Times are tough for lots of folks, crime is up, inflation is making a comeback, and we are divided among ourselves. Let’s look at something positive.

In order to determine where Americans have the most red, white and blue pride, WalletHub compared the states across 13 key indicators of patriotism. Our data set ranges from the state’s military enlistees and veterans to the share of adults who voted in the 2020 presidential election to AmeriCorps volunteers per capita.

To determine the most patriotic states, WalletHub compared the 50 states across two key dimensions, “Military Engagement” and “Civic Engagement.”

We evaluated those dimensions using 13 relevant metrics, which are listed below with their corresponding weights. Each metric was graded on a 100-point scale, with a score of 100 representing the highest level of patriotism.

Finally, we determined each city’s weighted average across all metrics to calculate its overall score and used the resulting scores to rank-order the states


This is how Military Engagement was measured. It accounts for 25 Total Points:

*Average Military Enlistees per 1,000 Civilian Adults Between 2013 & 2018 (No Prior Service): Triple Weight (~10.71 Points)
*Veterans per 1,000 Civilian Adults: Full Weight (~3.57 Points)
*Active-Duty Military Personnel per 100,000 Civilian Adults: Double Weight (~7.14 Points)
*Share of Civilian Adult Population in Military Reserves: Full Weight (~3.57 Points)

This is how Civic Engagement was measured. It accounts for 75%:

*Share of Adults Who Voted in 2020 Presidential Election: Double Weight (~16.67 Points)
*Share of Adults Who Voted in 2020 Primary Elections: Full Weight (~8.33 Points)
*Volunteer Rate: Half Weight (~4.17 Points)
*Volunteer Hours per Resident: Half Weight (~4.17 Points)
*AmeriCorps Volunteers per Capita: Half Weight (~4.17 Points)
*Peace Corps Volunteers per Capita: Half Weight (~4.17 Points)
*Trial- & Grand-Jury Participation per Civilian Adult Population: Double Weight (~16.67 Points)
*Share of Residents Who Participate in Groups or Organizations (Civic Life): Full Weight (~8.33 Points)
*Civics Education Requirement: Full Weight (~8.33 Points)

Here is the list of the top 20 most patriotic states:


1. Montana 11. Utah
2. Alaska 12. Idaho
3. Maryland 13. Wisconsin
4. Vermont 14. Washington
5. New Hampshire 15. Arizona
6. North Dakota 16. Iowa
7. Wyoming 17. Kentucky
8. Minnesota 18. Missouri
9. Oregon 19. South Carolina
10. Virginia 20. Colorado

Nope. My state of Texas isn’t there. Texas is ranked number 41. I admit I was surprised. Military engagement in Texas scores a 9 while civic engagement scores a 49. New York is ranked dead last at number 50.

These are some key findings of the survey:

Red states are more patriotic, with an average ranking of 25.32, compared with 25.68 for blue states (1 = Best).

Alaska has the most veterans per 1,000 civilian adults, 137, which is 2.7 times more than in New York, the state with the fewest at 51.

New Jersey has the highest share of adults who voted in the 2020 presidential election, 78.30 percent, which is 1.5 times higher than in Arkansas, the state with the lowest at 54.00 percent.

Utah has the highest volunteer rate, 51.00 percent, which is 2.2 times higher than in Florida, the state with the lowest at 22.80 percent.

None of that is particularly surprising, except maybe for New Jersey’s high share of adults who vote.


Texas ranks number four for the highest number of military enlistees – behind Georgia, Alaska, and South Carolina. Otherwise, Texas doesn’t make the top five in Best State versus Worst State categories.

I’m happy to see that civics education was included in the measurements. Today’s students are being short-changed by not having old-school-style civics classes taught in school. Knowledge of our government and how it works is essential. There should be a national movement to bring it back.

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