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 Adults5th – Active-Duty Military Personnel per 100,000 Civilian Adults20th – Peace Corps Volunteers per Capita30th – Volunteer Rate27th – Veterans per 1,000 Civilian Adults1st – U.S. History or Civics Education Requirement15th – Volunteer Hours per Resident

Most Patriotic States in the U.S.

Overall RankStateTotal ScoreMilitary EngagementCivic Engagement1Alaska65.571122Montana61.462213Virginia58.973134North Dakota58.432055Oregon56.423636Maryland56.252377Hawaii55.262248Vermont54.774329New Hampshire54.2332610Iowa52.7641411Washington52.46141412South Dakota52.21241013Colorado52.05121514Delaware51.35251115Maine50.1237816Utah49.1038917North Carolina46.9863218Wyoming46.7572719Idaho46.03181820New Mexico45.23102621Arizona45.09172322Oklahoma44.5883023Kansas44.34132924Georgia44.2054125Missouri44.00261726South Carolina42.1444727Minnesota41.13471628Mississippi40.68163729Ohio40.51332030Nebraska39.11283431Texas38.5194632Illinois38.46392233Nevada38.29154534Wisconsin37.43422135Kentucky36.98214336California36.61313837Michigan36.05462538New Jersey35.99481939Tennessee35.92303940West Virginia35.44343641Louisiana35.15274442Pennsylvania34.80443143Alabama34.67114844Indiana34.43354045Connecticut34.10453346Massachusetts32.67502847Florida32.13194948Rhode Island31.78404249New York30.95493550Arkansas28.622950

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


1. Georgia2. Alaska3. Texas4. South Carolina5. Alabama


46. Minnesota47. Massachusetts48. Rhode Island49. Vermont50. North Dakota

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

Veterans per Capita


1. Alaska2. Virginia3. Wyoming4. Montana5. Hawaii


46. Utah47. Massachusetts48. California49. New Jersey50. New York

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

Peace Corps Volunteers per Capita


1. Vermont2. Montana3. Maryland4. Virginia5. Oregon


46. Arkansas47. North Dakota48. South Dakota49. Mississippi50. Alabama

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

% of Adults Who Voted in 2020 Presidential Election

Highest %

1. New Jersey2. Minnesota3. Oregon4. New HampshireT-5. WisconsinT-5. Maryland

Lowest %

46. Alabama47. South Dakota48. Oklahoma49. West Virginia50. Arkansas

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

Volunteer Rate


1. Utah2. South Dakota3. Nebraska4. Colorado5. Minnesota


46. Kentucky47. Mississippi48. Florida49. Nevada50. New York

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