Illinois Is One Of The Least Patriotic States, Says New Study
Depending upon your outlook, that headline may anger, disappoint, and/or depress you; or you may feel like Samuel Johnson felt in April of 1775 when he said "Patriotism is the last refuge of the scoundrel."
To be fair, Samuel Johnson didn't have a low opinion of patriotism, but rather a dim view of what he called "self-professed patriots." To break it down, he didn't like people who talked the talk but didn't walk the walk.
So where does Illinois and our state's level of patriotism fit into me throwing around historical quotes?
Personal-finance website WalletHub recently published their study and list of the most patriotic states in the U.S., and Illinois' placement on the list has us languishing in the bottom 5 states.
How can that be? I mean, I see flags on houses all over the place, I see veterans groups rightfully being honored by the public, I've seen hundreds of active duty military personnel being properly thanked for their service to the nation...so what makes Illinois a bottom-fiver in overall patriotism?
It might be the criteria that WalletHub used to come up with their final state-by-state rankings. Here's how WalletHub says it came up with its totals:
In order to determine where Americans have the most red, white and blue pride, WalletHub compared the states across 13 key indicators of patriotism. Our data set ranges from the state’s military enlistees and veterans to the share of adults who voted in the 2020 presidential election to AmeriCorps volunteers per capita.
Before we break down the Illinois numbers, here are the 5 states at the top of the patriotism rankings, along with their overall scores:
- Montana (61.91)
- Alaska (56.64)
- Maryland (56.12)
- Vermont (55.29)
- New Hampshire (53.55)
As for Illinois, we come in at #45 on the list with a score of 28.53. We rank 39th in "military engagement," which is another way of saying "veterans and active duty military members," and we rank 36th in "civic engagement," which covers voters and volunteers.