BECKLEY, WV (WVNS) — As Independence Day nears, WalletHub released a study ranking states by their levels of patriotism, and West Virginia’s results may surprise you.
The financial outlet’s list was topped by Alaska, Montana, Virginia, North Dakota and Oregon, while the bottom five included Massachusetts, Florida, Rhode Island, New York and Arkansas. West Virginia was just outside the bottom 10 at number 40.
WalletHub also broke down its methodology for the study. Like in past studies, there were two main categories used to rank states that were broken down into smaller categories. Those categories were military engagement, worth 25 total points, and civic engagement, worth 75 total points.
Military engagement was broken into “Average Military Enlistees (with no prior service) per 1,000 Civilian Adults Between 2014 & 2019”, “Veterans per 1,000 Civilian Adults”, “Active-Duty Military Personnel per 100,000 Civilian Adults” and “Share of Civilian Adult Population in Military Reserves”.
Civic engagement was broken into “Share of Adults Who Voted in 2020 Presidential Election”, “Share of Adults Who Voted in 2020 Primary Elections”, “Volunteer Rate”, “Volunteer Hours per Resident”, “AmeriCorps Volunteers per Capita”, “Peace Corps Volunteers per Capita”, “Trial- & Grand-Jury Participation per Civilian Adult Population”, “Share of Residents Who Participate in Groups or Organizations” and “U.S. History/Civics Education Requirement”.
WalletHub graded each metric on a scale of 100 points, with 100 representing the highest level of patriotism, then used a weighted average across all metrics to calculate an overall score that was used to rank the states.
West Virginia ranked 34 in military engagement and 36 in civic engagement. It was also the second-lowest in the percentage of adults who voted in the 2020 Presidential Election.
One of the study’s conclusions is that blue states are more patriotic than red states—with an average rank of 24.92 versus 26.08.
States were designated as red or blue based on how they voted in the 2020 election—a year where historically swing states like Virginia, which ranked third on WalletHub’s list, Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin voted blue, and where historically red states like Georgia and Arizona voted blue.
Click here to see the full study.