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A study released by Wallethub has revealed that Virginia is the most patriotic state, followed closely by Alaska and Montana. On the flipside, the least patriotic states were spearheaded by Arkansas, followed by New York, Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Florida.

In order to determine the ranking, researchers compared the 50 states across 13 relevant metrics including each state's military enlistees and veterans, the share of adults who voted in the 2020 presidential election and AmeriCorps volunteers per capita.

Each metric was then graded on a 100-point scale, with a score of 100 representing the highest level of patriotism.

In a statement, WalletHub analyst Cassandra Happe explained the methodology further_

"The most patriotic states have a lot of residents who serve or have served in the armed forces, high voter turnouts during elections, and a high share of the population volunteering with national or local organizations. Patriotism also isn't concentrated in any one particular area – the top states are located in vastly different geographic regions."

Virginia ranks highest on the list thanks to having nearly 1,900 active-duty military personnel for every 100,000 civilians (third most in the country), 107 veterans per 1,000 civilians (second most in the country) and 71.5% of residents who voted in the 2020 presidential election, higher than the national average which is 67%.

Virginia also has the seventh-highest number of peace corps volunteers per capita, and it is one of the many states that require courses in U.S. history or civics for high school graduation.

Elsewhere, the ranking also concluded that Democrat states tend to be more patriotic than Republican ones, based on how each state voted in the 2020 elections.

Researchers also asked a panel of experts to share their thoughts on patriotism, by asking them questions such as "what are the characteristics of a good patriot?" and "what are the best ways for an individual to show patriotism?"

Glenn Altschuler, Professor of American Studies Emeritus at Cornell University commented that "an individual can 'live' patriotism by treating others with respect; staying informed about public affairs; reading essays and listening to podcasts by people across the ideological spectrum; weighing his or her personal interests against the interests of all Americans; speaking up and speaking out; voting; and respecting the outcome of elections and our system of justice."

Rogers M. Smith, Distinguished Emeritus Professor of Political Science at Penn Arts & Sciences added that individuals can show patriotism by "taking care of their own responsibilities well, and second, by paying attention to the problems and the legitimate goals of their societies and seeking to contribute through voting, civic service, or other means to those they are most capable of doing so."

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