GOSHEN COUNTY – Wyoming is the third-most patriotic state in America, ranking No. 1 overall for the methods used to meet its civics education requirements.
Personal-finance website WalletHub compared all 50 states across 13 indicators of patriotism as determined by military and civic engagement.
Virginia and Alaska came in first- and second-most patriotic, respectively, while Massachusetts, Illinois and New Jersey rounded out the bottom three overall.
In individual categories, the highest number of military enlistees hail from Georgia (No. 1), South Carolina and Idaho. The states contributing the least amount to the nation’s military are Rhode Island, Massachusetts and North Dakota (No. 50). Wyoming ranks near the top at No. 13.
Wyoming has the 10th-greatest number of veterans per 1,000 civilian adult population. Alaska, Montana and Virginia boast the most former military men and women, and California, New Jersey and New York have the least.
Maine, Wisconsin and Colorado had the greatest percentage of voter turnout during the 2016 election, while Tennessee, West Virginia and Hawaii voters mostly stayed home. Wyoming ranked 15th overall.
Other notable Cowboy State placings include: active-duty military personnel per 1,000 civilian adult populations, 13th; volunteer rate, 22nd; volunteer hours per resident, sixth; AmeriCorps volunteers per capita, 13th.
On average, the study rated Republican states as more patriotic than Democratic states – with red states ranking at No. 23 overall; blue are No. 28. WalletHub analysts used voting trends from the 2016 election to determine the apparent patriotism ranking for red and blue states.
Jacob Neiheisel, assistant professor of political science at the University of Buffalo, said the best way schools and local authorities can cultivate patriotism amongst youth is education.
“This may be a bit self-serving, but I think that promoting a solid knowledge and understanding of history and government would be a good place to start,” he said. “In the context of the United States, at least, it is difficult not to feel just a little bit patriotic when reading some of the writing of the founding generation – ‘The Federalist’, for instance. An appropriately nuanced presentation of American history and government also puts such achievements in context and helps to foster and appropriately critical kind of patriotism.”
For more on the study, please visit https://wallethub.com/edu/most-patriotic-states.