New York, Florida 'Least Patriotic' States in U.S., Study Shows

A new study that compared levels of military and civic engagement between states found that New York, Florida and Connecticut are the "least patriotic," while Montana, Alaska and Maryland are the "most patriotic."

The 2021 Most Patriotic States in America analysis released Monday was conducted by several academics on behalf of the financial adviser website WalletHub. The survey revealed that Florida, Texas and Mississippi have the worst levels of "civic engagement," while Montana, Vermont and Minnesota have the highest. In terms of "military engagement," Alaska and Hawaii took the top spots, while Massachusetts and New York were at the bottom.

The study data was drawn from numerous sources, including the U.S. Census Bureau, the Department of Veterans Affairs and several other military and election-focused organizations. The combined levels of military and civic engagement using 13 metrics were compiled to create the "most patriotic" narrative of the study. Numbers pertaining to military enlistees, veterans per capita, Peace Corps volunteers and adults who voted in the 2020 presidential election were used as factors in determining a state's patriotism.

Data from several military organizations collected for the patriotism study showed that Georgia, Alaska and South Carolina had the highest average number of military enlistees. Minnesota, Vermont and Massachusetts had the lowest average number of military enlistees, according to statistics through 2021.

Overall, the WalletHub study authors noted that so-called red states, or those which traditionally lean Republican, were slightly "more patriotic" than their blue-state counterparts. The study authors noted that the designation for red or blue state in the survey was based solely on how the state voted in the 2020 presidential election—for Joe Biden or Donald Trump.

Several experts and academics were asked by WalletHub how they would define the characteristics of a "good patriot," as well as potential measures schools and local officials should use to promote patriotic duties among U.S. citizens.

"How patriotism is defined and what it looks like in practice rests in the eye of the beholder. Most basically, patriotism is described as "love and loyalty to one's country," said Benjamin Wellenreiter, assistant professor of education at Illinois State University.

"While some may argue that a good patriot is blindly loyal to their country, in fact, a key characteristic of the good patriot is the willingness to hold their country accountable in terms of living up to the high ideals it professes, or upon which it was founded," replied Sheila Croucher, distinguished professor of global and intercultural studies at Miami University in Ohio.

Newsweek reached out to the WalletHub study authors for any additional comments or remarks about the study Monday afternoon.

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Montana, Alaska and Maryland are the "most patriotic" states, according to an analysis released Monday conducted by several academics on behalf of the financial adviser website WalletHub. Above, U.S. Navy service members order food at a street vendor outside the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum on Memorial Day on May 31, 2021, in New York City. ALEXI ROSENFELD / Contributor/Getty Images