Is New Jersey Really The Least Patriotic State? | Aaron Neuman

A recent ranking by personal finance website Wallethub has people questioning the methodology of the ranking, as well as the levels of patriotism in their home states. 

Released less than two weeks before the July 4th Independence Day celebrations, Wallethub found that New Jersey ranks dead last in the list of most patriotic states in the nation.

In attempting to evaluate the patriotism levels of individual states, Wallethub compared them across two key metrics – Military Engagement and Civic Engagement. Military Engagement includes things like the number of military enlistees from a state per every 100,000 residents, the number of veterans in a state, the share of the adult population in military reserves.

The Civic Engagement category includes things like the share of voters who cast ballots in 2016 and in primaries, the number of volunteers in a state, as well as some other metrics.

Each metric was given a score, which was then combined for a total score for each state.

New Jersey ended up with an abysmal score of 22.12 out of 100 possible points. That looks pretty bad.

But it is fair to question this ranking. How do you quantify patriotism, which is essentially a qualitative, subjective state of mind? The number of military enlistees from a state doesn’t tell you how patriotic that state necessarily is. It perhaps tells you how devoted certain states are to certain patriotic activities, like joining the military. But it doesn’t tell you anything about residents’ feelings towards the United States of America.

It could be that I’m just hurt that my home state of New Jersey was given the worst score in the nation. But from my experience with New Jersey, I am pretty sure its residents are as patriotic as any other state.

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