North Carolina ranks in the top 20 most patriotic states in America

With the Fourth of July approaching, the personal-finance website WalletHub released its report on 2022’s Most Patriotic States in America.

photo by Aaron Burden

To determine where Americans have the most red, white and blue pride, WalletHub compared the 50 states across 13 key indicators of patriotism. Their 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. Below are some additional highlights from the report.

Patriotism in North Carolina (1=Most Patriotic; 25=Avg.):

  • 9th – Average Number of Military Enlistees per 1,000 Civilian Adults
  • 5th – Active-Duty Military Personnel per 100,000 Civilian Adults
  • 20th – Peace Corps Volunteers per Capita
  • 30th – Volunteer Rate
  • 27th – Veterans per 1,000 Civilian Adults
  • 1st – U.S. History or Civics Education Requirement
  • 15th – Volunteer Hours per Resident

Most Patriotic States in the U.S.

Overall RankStateTotal ScoreMilitary EngagementCivic Engagement
1Alaska65.57112
2Montana61.46221
3Virginia58.97313
4North Dakota58.43205
5Oregon56.42363
6Maryland56.25237
7Hawaii55.26224
8Vermont54.77432
9New Hampshire54.23326
10Iowa52.76414
11Washington52.461414
12South Dakota52.212410
13Colorado52.051215
14Delaware51.352511
15Maine50.12378
16Utah49.10389
17North Carolina46.98632
18Wyoming46.75727
19Idaho46.031818
20New Mexico45.231026
21Arizona45.091723
22Oklahoma44.58830
23Kansas44.341329
24Georgia44.20541
25Missouri44.002617
26South Carolina42.14447
27Minnesota41.134716
28Mississippi40.681637
29Ohio40.513320
30Nebraska39.112834
31Texas38.51946
32Illinois38.463922
33Nevada38.291545
34Wisconsin37.434221
35Kentucky36.982143
36California36.613138
37Michigan36.054625
38New Jersey35.994819
39Tennessee35.923039
40West Virginia35.443436
41Louisiana35.152744
42Pennsylvania34.804431
43Alabama34.671148
44Indiana34.433540
45Connecticut34.104533
46Massachusetts32.675028
47Florida32.131949
48Rhode Island31.784042
49New York30.954935
50Arkansas28.622950

Note: With the exception of “Total Score,” all of the columns in the table above depict the relative rank of that state, where a rank of 1 represents the best conditions for that metric category.

Expert Commentary

What are the characteristics of a good patriot? 
 
“A good patriot loves his or her country and supports it in the face of challenges. That does not mean unquestioning love, but deep regard that motivates making one’s nation the best it can be.”
Russ Crawford – Professor, Ohio Northern University
 
“A patriot is someone who can see the flaw, inequities, and injustices in one’s country and do what they can to address and rectify them. A patriot is someone who is committed enough to one’s country to want to make it better for everyone, especially those who have had the least access to the benefits or privileges a country promises.”
Suzanne M. Chod – Professor, North Central College
 
What are the best ways for an individual to show patriotism? 
 
“There are many ways for an individual to demonstrate patriotism. The keyword is ‘individual.’ In the United States, individuals are free to be patriotic in whatever way they want. That could be flying the national flag at their house, serving in the military, voting, and taking part in the political life of the nation, but also includes a multitude of other ways. If one chooses to show patriotism by popping off fireworks on the 4th of July, that is fine. We have had times in our nation’s history when patriotism has been defined to require specific actions, but in contemporary America, we have the freedom to choose our own path.”
Russ Crawford – Professor, Ohio Northern University
 
Should we be raising our children as global citizens first or as Americans first?
 
“We live in an inextricably interconnected world. Whether in your own community in the United States, traveling around the United States, or traveling abroad, cultural competency and appreciation and respect for cultures not one’s own should be a priority. One cannot be a good local and national citizen without being a good global citizen; they go hand-in-hand.”
Suzanne M. Chod – Professor, North Central College
 
“There is room for both in our schools. Ideally, younger children should learn American history and civics, and older children should learn about international systems and our place in them.”
Russ Crawford – Professor, Ohio Northern University
 

Average Number of Military Enlistees

Highest

Average Number of Military Enlistees
  • 1. Georgia
  • 2. Alaska
  • 3. Texas
  • 4. South Carolina
  • 5. Alabama

Lowest

  • 46. Minnesota
  • 47. Massachusetts
  • 48. Rhode Island
  • 49. Vermont
  • 50. North Dakota

Best State vs. Worst State: 3x Difference
Georgia vs. North Dakota

Veterans per Capita

Most

Veterans per Capita
  • 1. Alaska
  • 2. Virginia
  • 3. Wyoming
  • 4. Montana
  • 5. Hawaii

Fewest

  • 46. Utah
  • 47. Massachusetts
  • 48. California
  • 49. New Jersey
  • 50. New York

Best State vs. Worst State: 3x Difference
Alaska vs. New York

Peace Corps Volunteers per Capita

Most

Peace Corps Volunteers per Capita
  • 1. Vermont
  • 2. Montana
  • 3. Maryland
  • 4. Virginia
  • 5. Oregon

Fewest

  • 46. Arkansas
  • 47. North Dakota
  • 48. South Dakota
  • 49. Mississippi
  • 50. Alabama

Best State vs. Worst State: 10x Difference
Vermont vs. Alabama

% of Adults Who Voted in 2020 Presidential Election

Highest %

% of Adults Who Voted in 2020 Presidential Election
  • 1. New Jersey
  • 2. Minnesota
  • 3. Oregon
  • 4. New Hampshire
  • T-5. Wisconsin
  • T-5. Maryland

Lowest %

  • 46. Alabama
  • 47. South Dakota
  • 48. Oklahoma
  • 49. West Virginia
  • 50. Arkansas

Best State vs. Worst State: 2x Difference
New Jersey vs. Arkansas

Volunteer Rate

Highest

Volunteer Rate
  • 1. Utah
  • 2. South Dakota
  • 3. Nebraska
  • 4. Colorado
  • 5. Minnesota

Lowest

  • 46. Kentucky
  • 47. Mississippi
  • 48. Florida
  • 49. Nevada
  • 50. New York

Best State vs. Worst State: 2x Difference
Utah vs. New York