WASHINGTON — In the U.S., the Fourth of July means cookouts with hot dogs and coolers full of beer. It’s a day off to bask in the country’s independence.
Tell that to the folks of Virginia. They’re pretty patriotic, says a new study.
The commonwealth is the country’s most patriotic state, according to WalletHub, a financial resource company. The study looked at voting habits, military engagement and civic education to determine its rankings.
“Good patriots are engaged citizens who know their country’s history, follow its involvement in current events, and devote time and energy to its success,” Lydia Moland, an associate professor of philosophy at Colby College who participated in the study, said in a news release.Washington, Colorado, Idaho and Alaska round out the top five, the data show.
Virginia ranks third in military engagement and fifth in civic engagement, according to the WalletHub analysis. The commonwealth has the fourth most veterans per capita.
Conversely, Rhode Island, New Jersey and New York ranked last in overall patriotism. New York, in particular, had a low rate of veterans per capita, and a low percentage of residents who voted in the recent presidential election.
To get those numbers up, says analyst Peter Levine, “schools should teach young people to understand and value the American republic in civics and social studies class.”
Check out the full list of the nation’s most patriotic states.