Patriotism is a difficult trait to put a numeric value on. You may be considered a patriot if you fly the American flag on your property or if you vote on a regular basis. There are some that feel patriotism is measured in the way you celebrate the birthdate of our great nation. Individuals will certainly be able to measure what they feel is considered patriotism, but how is this trait measured per state?
We feel the most accurate way to measure patriotism is by looking at a number of criteria that could indicate patriotism, including military involvement and enlistment per state, how many veterans call these states home, the percentage of registered voters, and how many citizens went to the polls in the last election, as we feel this is one of the most important powers we have as Americans.
Other included considerations were the amount of national historic landmarks per capita and the number of people who searched for and flew American flags. Of course, we also added a small consideration to states with exceptionally high historical significance. Take a look through this list and let us know if you agree in the comments!
List of the Most Patriotic States
|Veterans Per Capita||2nd in the US – 7,843 per 100k|
|National Historic Landmarks||123|
|Google Flag Searches||37th highest searched in the US|
The state slogan is “Virginia is for lovers,” but this state is also for veterans, military hubs, and voter turnout. Home of over 120 historical landmarks, including the first permanent settlement—Jamestown—and where Thomas Jefferson wrote the Declaration of Independence, this state is awash with American history.
History itself isn’t enough to make this state patriotic, there is a large population of veterans in Virginia. It’s the second most veteran-populated state in the union; that’s no wonder since Quantico Marine base, Langley Air Force Base, and the Pentagon are all located in Virginia.
Quantico is home to the largest United States Marine base, the FBI training academy, and the Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS). Langley is home to the oldest active airfield in the United States as well as the oldest Air Force Base.
During the 2020 presidential election, Virginia held the title for the seventh-highest voter participation in the entire United States. With such military history and large bases in one state, as well as one of the highest states of voter turnout in the last election, Virginia is a state steeped in patriotism. Virginia, we salute you as one of the most patriotic states of the union.
|Veterans Per Capita||1st in the US – 9,044 per 100k|
|National Historic Landmarks||50|
|Google Flag Searches||50th in the nation|
The largest and northernmost state makes up 17% of the entire landmass of the United States, and it is one of the most patriotic states in the entire nation. Alaska represents the largest population of veterans per capita in the entire nation. It comes in at the top of the nation with most veterans because nearly one in every eight citizens is a veteran. If that doesn’t shout patriotism from the snow-covered mountaintops, I don’t know what does.
Alaska also has the most national historical landmarks per capita compared to any of the other states. This state also had a very high percentage of registered voter turnout for the 2020 election. Over two-thirds of the registered voter population participated in our last presidential election. The population of this rugged state knows how to get to the polls and how to serve its country.
3. South Carolina
|Veterans Per Capita||10th in the US – 6,835 per 100k|
|National Historic Landmarks||76|
|Google Flag Searches||14th highest searched in the US|
In South Carolina, you will probably see American Flags flying high all over because it was ranked 14th highest in the nation out of all the states who Googled American Flags. South Carolina also is one of the top ten states with the most veteran residents per capita; over 400,000 veterans call South Carolina home. This state also knows how to treat its hardworking war heroes because it is also ranked the 16th highest state for veteran funding. This is extremely important because some of these special men and women gave everything to defend this country. It’s only right that the nation gives back to those who have served.
What else makes this state stand out with its patriotic pride is the numerous historic sites—76 in total—as well as eight different military bases located within its borders. South Carolina has a base representing every branch of the military except for the Coast Guard.
There are more military bases located in the southern regions of the US, and about 44% of current military recruits have come from southern states. Many of the southern states can be considered very patriotic states for various reasons, but South Carolina shines its patriotism just a little bit brighter.
4. New Hampshire
|Veterans Per Capita||8th in the US – 6,971 per 100k|
|National Historic Landmarks||23|
|Google Flag Searches||6th highest searched in the US|
With the state motto of New Hampshire stating “Live Free or Die,” this state should be one of the most patriotic states of the Union. One of the major reasons this state is so patriotic is the fact that New Hampshire holds the first Primary election of the season. New Hampshire usually decides what issues the candidates and the nation is talking about during the election campaigns.
New Hampshire also showed its patriotism early in the formation of the United States of America when it cast the deciding vote to ratify the Constitution. The fledgling nation needed nine votes to make the Constitution binding, and New Hampshire is credited with casting the ninth deciding vote.
The state of New Hampshire also has a high concentration of citizens that participate in civic engagement measures. These things include registering to vote, then exercising that right. Civic engagement also takes into consideration hours volunteering for groups and organizations such as the Peace Corps, AmeriCorps, jury duty participation, and civics education in public schools. New Hampshire ranks high in terms of citizens who volunteer for these civic engagements.
New Hampshire is also a state that has a lot of interest in the American Flag. Out of all 50 states, New Hampshire is ranked 6th highest in the number of people who have done Google searches for the American Flag. Out of our list, New Hampshire ranked the highest in the nation for interest in Old Glory.
In the last Presidential election, 76% of registered New Hampshire voters took to the polls to show their strong sense of patriotism. Along with everything else outlined here, New Hampshire certainly deserves a top spot on this list.
|Veterans Per Capita||4th in the US – 7,729 per 100k|
|National Historic Landmarks||27|
|Google Flag Searches||31st highest searched in the US|
The 44th state is known for cowboys, rodeos, and national parks, of which the state has seven, including Yellowstone, one of the most visited national parks in the US. Wyoming also gained notice when President Theodore Roosevelt declared Devil’s Tower the first national monument. Wyoming has the highest number of national historic monuments relative to population, and nearly half of the land in the state is owned by the federal government. This state has a lot going for it to make it a patriotic state, even if it is the least populated state of them all.
Wyoming is rated first in Civics Education Requirement among all other states. This means that students going to government-funded public schools cannot pass or receive a diploma without showing sufficient knowledge of the US Constitution, the Wyoming Constitution, and American institutions and ideals.
Other factors that went into naming Wyoming as one of the ten most patriotic states are because it also ranks 4th in the number of veterans living in the state per capita, is ranked 14th and 15th out of the nation for active-duty military personnel, and for how many AmeriCorps volunteers there are respectively.
Wyoming may not have a population anywhere near the numbers that California has, but the residents of this state sure know how to show off their patriotic side.
|Veterans Per Capita||28th in the US – 6,014 per 100k|
|National Historic Landmarks||77|
|Google Flag Searches||40th highest searched in the US|
You would hope a state sitting so close to the nation’s capital would make it on the list of the most patriotic states of the entire nation. Maryland did not disappoint because this is a very patriotic state.
What makes this state so very patriotic? For a smaller state, it has plenty of military institutions, such as the US Naval Academy at Annapolis, it is rich with historic events, and it produces the 5th most Peace Corps volunteers in the nation. Maryland has 75 national historic sites; only six states in America have more. Add in the fact that 72% of registered voters took to the polls in the last Presidential election, and you have a state that is proud of its patriotic heritage.
|Veterans Per Capita||5th in the US – 7,632 per 100k|
|National Historic Landmarks||44|
|Google Flag Searches||18th highest searched in the US|
Maine jumps into the list by having the 4th highest number of veterans per capita in the nation, having a large voter turnout, and a large number of national historic landmarks in relation to population. Not only do nearly 1 in 10 veterans call Maine home, but these residents take their civic duties seriously. In the last Presidential election, over 76% of registered voters took to the polls, while only a slightly smaller margin went out to the 2016 election.
Maine provides several added benefits for its veterans, including homestead exemption, other tax exemptions, employment assistance, and in some cases, 100% tuition paid for college as well as a host of other benefits. Maine is a state that treats its veterans well. For these reasons, you can see that Maine is definitely a very patriotic state.
|Veterans Per Capita||3rd in the US – 7,808 per 100k|
|National Historic Landmarks||28|
|Google Flag Searches||27th highest searched in the US|
Another extremely patriotic state is Montana. It’s ranked number one in the nation for civic engagement and is ranked very high in military engagement and Peace Corps volunteers.
Montana takes volunteering for their country seriously. Not only are there a high amount of veterans per capita, but Montana ranks second in both Peace Corps volunteers and is First per capita for AmeriCorps volunteers.
The Peace Corps is a volunteer organization that helps to promote peace while helping to educate people about the environment and strengthen their understanding of environmental issues. These volunteers also help to empower local communities in their mission to help protect the environment. The Peace Corps also wants to help foreign lands to better understand Americans, as well as help Americans understand citizens of other lands.
AmeriCorps volunteers help on a more local level. They work in schools and after-school programs to help educate and work to reduce gangs and gang-related violence. These volunteers can also help to construct homes for less fortunate individuals, and they also help with cleaning up the environment.
The citizens of Montana help to elevate the patriotic status of their state by answering the call to serve. Seeing how they continue to volunteer and enlist, they must be passing on the torch of volunteering to the next generations. Whether that call is to enlist in a branch of the military or to spend their precious time volunteering to help the environment and others, Montana’s patriotism is a standard we could all strive for.
|Veterans Per Capita||35th in the US – 5,754 per 100k|
|National Historic Landmarks||50|
|Google Flag Searches||35th highest searched in the US|
When you think of Georgia, chances are the first things that come to mind are peaches, sweet tea, and southern hospitality. You can now add all American patriotism to that list too. Because of high veteran funding, their willingness to show their love for our great country, and great voter turnout, Georgia is also synonymous with some sweet patriotism.
In Georgia, funding for veteran benefits was ranked eighth highest in the nation. Some of the benefits veterans can receive in the state of Georgia include educational grants, small business grants, and housing grants.
Georgia ranked high on their willingness to show positive approval for the United States as a whole, and many residents of the peachy state love to fly the American flag. Georgians also show their support for the country by going to the polls en masse. 68% of registered voters exercised their voting rights during the 2020 election. There may not be many things more American than apple pie, but in Georgia, their patriotism surpasses the delicious pastry. Overall, Georgia is without a doubt one of the most patriotic states in America.
10. North Dakota
|Veterans Per Capita||31st in the US – 5,952 per 100k|
|National Historic Landmarks||7|
|Google Flag Searches||44th highest searched in the US|
North Dakota has a very strong sense of community, and its residents are more than proud to display red, white, and blue. They are high on the list for military engagement, enlistment, and volunteering, and getting high marks for civic engagement.
North Dakota has been labeled as the second-best state in the union for veterans. The nearly 8% veteran population can expect to find low housing costs and very highly rated veteran hospitals to take care of those who served. Some other benefits include property tax benefits, veteran education benefits, and financial assistance as well as health care.
North Dakota not only knows how to treat their veterans, but they regularly get to the polls to make their voices heard. In the 2020 election, there was a 65% voter turnout. When you combine all the ways North Dakota shows their patriotism, it’s no wonder this state is one of the top contenders.
|Veterans Per Capita||32nd in the US – 5,938 per 100k|
|National Historic Landmarks||18|
|Google Flag Searches||48th highest searched in the US|
One of the things that keep Vermont from skyrocketing to one of the top spots in most patriotic lists is because the state has a very low number of military enlistments. Vermont is among the lowest in the nation in fact, and because of that, we couldn’t put it among the top contenders. What Green Mountain State does to show its patriotism is the strong civic engagement they engage in. They rank first among Peace Corps volunteers in relation to population. It shows that the maple syrup state loves to volunteer their time for worthy causes, and because of that, we rank them as one of the most patriotic in the Nation.
|Veterans Per Capita||12th in the US – 6,716 per 100k|
|National Historic Landmarks||24|
|Google Flag Searches||45th highest searched in the US|
You would hope that the only state named after a president would have a strong patriotic core. Washington was, of course, named after the nation’s principal founding father and the very first president, George Washington. The Evergreen State does have a great patriotic spirit, but compared to the other states on the list, Washington was barely edged out.
This state had a great turnout at the polls for the last two Presidential Elections, there are 24 national historic landmarks, and about 7% of the population is military veterans but these numbers were just below the top marks of the previously mentioned states. There’s nothing wrong with the patriotic core that is Washington, and for that, we add them to our honorable mention list.
13. North Carolina
|Veterans Per Capita||25th in the US – 6,103 per 100k|
|National Historic Landmarks||39|
|Google Flag Searches||9th highest searched in the US|
We can’t talk about patriotism and remarkable military bases without talking about the Tarheel State. North Carolina is home to America’s largest military base, Fort Bragg. This military base covers 251 square miles and, by population, is the largest military base in the world. Some military enthusiasts consider Fort Bragg to be the center of the entire military realm.
North Carolina is also a great place for veterans to go because they know how to treat them there. NC ranks sixth highest in the states for veteran funding, which is good because almost a tenth of the entire population is made up of former military recruits. When you add the largest military base, a large population of veterans, great funding for them, and a healthy population who are proud of their country, you get a remarkable patriotic spirit.
In North Carolina, you’re likely to see American flags proudly displayed in neighborhoods everywhere. They ranked in the top ten states who Googled American flags.
|Veterans Per Capita||13th in the US – 6,671 per 100k|
|National Historic Landmarks||39|
|Google Flag Searches||8th highest searched in the US|
The Heart of Dixie is famous for fried food and Gulf coast seafood, but they are also quite a patriotic bunch. Alabama ranks exceptionally high in civic education because they require all students to pass an extensive social studies test to be able to graduate from high school. The residents of Alabama rank top ten in the percentage who enlist in the military, giving this state remarkable patriotic status.
Alabama is also ranked 13th in the US for the number of veteran residents per capita. It seems that those who are unable to enlist give their time in other ways to help our great country. This state is ranked in the top 20 for most volunteer hours donated per resident.
This southern state does well for civic engagement and quality for veterans, but they had a rather low turnout at the polls. Maybe in a few years, Alabama will increase its voter turnout to nudge its way into the top spots or most patriotic states. For now, they are still in the top 14, but by the time the next list comes out, they could be higher on the list, especially if they continue the trend.
How Can You Show Your Patriotism?
Just because your state didn’t make the list doesn’t mean you can’t still show your patriotic pride. It is difficult to give a numeric value to patriotism, especially since it can mean so many different things to other individuals. There are many ways for you to show support for our great country. Voting is by far one of the most engaging ways to show one’s patriotism. Regardless of your political affiliation, whether you are a democrat, republican, or independent, voting is the best way to exercise your rights. You don’t have to wait every four years either; some of the most important political changes come from the local level, so go out there and vote.
Volunteering is a great way to be patriotic. If you have the skills, you can help to build housing for veterans or others in need. You can join in local beautification projects by planting flowers and trees, or cleaning up trash. The Peace Corps and AmeriCorps are always seeking new volunteers with or without certain skills. You can also express your patriotism by supporting our troops or spending time with our veterans.
Of course, you can also show that patriotic spirit by celebrating the Fourth of July with fireworks (where legal and always responsibly), having barbecues, purchasing American-made products, and flying the American flag. You don’t have to wait until Independence day to show off the red, white and blue. You can show your patriotism by flying the flag every day check out our extensive lists of American flags made in the USA and American-made flagpoles here.
Patriotic States Factors Included to Rank Patriotism
That does it for this article. Let us know if you agree with our rankings or if we should consider any other factors below!
Hi, my name is Kevin and I’m from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Choosing products made in America is important to me because it supports local economies, creates jobs, helps the environment, and ensures ethical labor practices. I also find that American made products are usually of higher quality so although they’re a little more expensive, you save money in the long run. Before starting this website I was in the USMC infantry and nowadays I work on this website as a hobby.
2 thoughts on “14 Most Patriotic States (2023 Rankings)”
Flag-waving is cheap, actual sacrifice is what differentiates the sunshine patriot from the true one, with apologies to Tom Paine. The veterans per capital metric is the only one that matters but you must do it by the state they were born or raised, not where they ended up since that favors states with bases.
The veterans per state metric certainly isn’t a perfect one for the reasons you mentioned, especially in states with military bases. There really is no way to determine patriotism especially because patriotism itself is so subjective. I totally agree sacrifice and willingness to sacrifice should be a key metric, sadly there isn’t a great way to measure that.