A new study examined how patriotic Marylanders' are and ranked the state just 17th out of 50.When you envision the "most patriotic state in the country," does Maryland come to mind? If you responded "no," the data agrees with you. A new study recently published by WalletHub ranks Maryland as the 17th most patriotic state in the country. The researchers developed a "patriotism score" by looking at two specific factors: military and civic engagement. A Military engagement score was created by measuring the number of residents on active duty and how many veterans live in the state. Civic engagement was a little more complicated, looking at variables such as voter participation rates, charity involvement, and even how often residents use Google to search for "American flags." Both scores were equally measured and added together to arrive at a cumulative patriotism score.
Maryland's aggregate patriotism score is 54.40, positioning the state at 17th in the country (wedged in between Nebraska and Utah). Maryland ranks above average on civic engagement, coming in at 12th in the country. By comparison, Virginia was ranked the most patriotic state was ranked 10th in terms of civics with a patriotism score of 70.55. Where Maryland falters is in the military engagement category, coming in at just 28th. While Maryland is home to eleven military bases, the state is below average when it comes to how many active duty military men and women and veterans live in the state. If Maryland scored higher in military engagement, they would have placed much higher on the patriotism rankings. The title of Least Patriotic State in the Country belongs to New Jersey, which scored second to last in military engagement. Only New York scored lower on that metric. The data shows that red reliably-Republican states are more patriotic than states that consistently vote for Democrats to hold state-wide office. This is not a steadfast rule, however. Washington State ranked as the sixth most patriotic state in the country and has not voted for a Republican President in the past nine elections. One the opposite end of the spectrum, Pennsylvania and Michigan each ranked 42nd and 43rd, respectively, and narrowly voted for Donald Trump in 2016. Interestingly enough, if you look at the 16 swing and battleground states from the 2016 Presidential election -- Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and Wisconsin -- they were, on average, more patriotic than the typical reliably-red state. While this is isn't enough to predict political outcomes, the data suggests that the more "patriotic" a state is, the more likely the population is to vote for Republican candidates. Researchers have hypothesized that socio-economic demographics could be to blame for states' low scores. For example, lower-income populations are statistically less likely to vote consistently, which would negatively affect that state's civic engagement scores. The size of a state's millennial population could also have an impact on patriotism. Younger generations tend to be more likely to identify as a "Citizen of the World" instead of primarily identifying as an American.
At the end of the day, this is just one way of measuring patriotism. But by these metrics, Maryland is not one of the most patriotic states in the country. Here are the top 10 states:
- South Carolina
- North Carolina