This Fourth of July, Georgia Bleeds Red, White, and Blue

Watching the 2014 Dunwoody Independence Day parade,  Photo:  Jon Richards
Watching the 2014 Dunwoody Independence Day parade.
Photo: Jon Richards
In a recent study conducted by WalletHub, all fifty states were ranked ordered by how patriotic each state is based upon two main categories: Military Engagement and Civic Engagement.  With a score of 69.17, Virginia was ranked number 1 as the most patriotic state in the Union. While New Jersey, with a score of 19.47, was ranked 50th as the least patriotic state. So how did Georgia fare?

After all the data was collected, analyzed, and broken down, and the scores were calculated, Georgia was ranked the 5th most patriotic state in the United States. Beaten out only by Virginia, Alaska, Georgia’s neighbor South Carolina, and Colorado. The Peach State received a Military Engagement rank of 5 out of 50 and a Civic Engagement rank of 30 out of 50, with an overall score of 57.41. There is no doubt that Georgia’s Military Engagement rank was greatly helped by the fact that Georgia has the highest percentage of residents who enlisted in the military.

Now briefly, let’s take a look at just how Georgia was calculated to earn its spot as one of the top five most patriotic states. The two categories of Military Engagement and Civic Engagement were each broken down into twelve relevant measures which were scored 0-to-100 with a score of 100 being the most patriotic. An overall score was calculated for each state using a weighted average across all of the measures, which was used to rank order the states.

For military engagement, four metrics were used: the percentage of residents who enlisted in the Military in 2014, the number of veterans per 1,000 residents, the number of active-duty military personnel per 10,000 residents, and the percentage of people in military reserves.

As for civic engagement, eight metrics were used: the percentage of residents who voted in the 2012 presidential election, the percentage of people that voted in the 2016 primary elections, the volunteer rate, volunteer hours per residents, number of Americorps volunteers per 100,000 residents, the number of Peace Corps volunteers per 100,000 residents, the frequency of google searches for American Flags, and civics-education requirements.

Another interesting result of the study was the conclusion that red states are more patriotic than blue states. Based on the Presidential election map from 2012, states that voted Republican had an average score of 28.31, while states who voted Democrat received an average of 22.46.

Despite these results, though, one thing is clear. American patriotism is on the decline. In 2014 28% of Americans said the U.S. was the best country in the world. This was down from 38% in 2011. There are endless ways one can celebrate and express pride in their country and not all can be measured and studied. This study was an attempt to identify the center of the patriotic problem and find where it is most pronounced.

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