A new WalletHub.com survey ranking the states by patriotism puts New Jersey dead last. The controversial report measured the 50 states in two broad categories, Military Engagement and Civic Engagement with more weight given to the civic engagement.

New Jersey ranked 48th in Military Engagement and 43rd in Civic Engagement. Within the category of Military Engagement, things like average military enlistees, veterans per 1,000 citizens, active duty military personnel, and percentage of civilians in the reserves were measured. The Civic Engagement category had a lot more criteria. For example, adults who voted in the presidential election, adults who voted in the primary elections, as well as volunteer rates for things like Americorps and the Peace Corps.

Trial and grand jury participation were measured; civic participation (in groups or organizations) and required civics education had extra weight. While civics lessons are supposed to be integrated into history courses in New Jersey, only 39% of schools offer a civics course to all students, but there is legislation to address that. New Jersey also fares poorly in veterans per capita, ranking 49th; only New York has fewer. Displays of patriotism will probably be muted around the state this July 4th, as well, with many towns canceling their fireworks. Anecdotally, I only saw three houses on my block (mine included) flying the American flag this past June 14th.

Source: WalletHub

According to Wallet Hub, the most patriotic state is New Hampshire, followed by Wyoming, Idaho, Alaska, and Maryland. Joining New Jersey in the bottom five: New York, California, Texas, and West Virginia. Those states (in both groups) wouldn’t seem to have much in common, so I don’t know what conclusions you can draw. Alaska was #4! For Military Engagement and Utah was first in Civic Engagement. Massachusetts was last in the military category and Hawaii was last in Civic Engagement.

The post above reflects the thoughts and observations of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Bill Doyle. Any opinions expressed are Bill Doyle's own.

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