The States With The Five Highest & Lowest Enlistment Rates

There are so many different ways to show love for one’s country, and many of those are not very obvious or even public. It could be volunteering, passing on traditions and pastimes, or flying an American flag at home. Maybe it is just a quiet appreciation for the United States of America. For the WalletHub Statistics Center, one prominent way to tangibly measure patriotism was by looking at the number of citizens enlisting in the military. What says “I love America” more than signing your life and career to it, taking an oath to fight and die for it if necessary?

That’s one of the factors WalletHub took into account for a recently published study. The statisticians looked at data from 2010 to 2015 and compared the average number of military enlistees per 1,000 civilian adults in each of the 50 states. The study says it only looked at enlisted personnel, not officers, when comparing states. What they came up with is the five states with the highest enlistment average and the states with the lowest enlistment average.

Many factors must be taken into account when looking at states’ military enlistment rates, such as population demographics, local economic factors, and much more. The numbers don’t give any indication as to why some states have higher or lower enlistment rates; the study just presents the numbers straightforward as they are.

Take a look at the list below, which starts with the states which have the lowest average military enlistment rates. Then click “next” at the bottom of the page to see the five states with the highest enlistment rates. Do you live in one of these states?

Lowest Enlistment Rates


5. Vermont

Photo: AdobeStock/rb_octo -- Vermont has the fifth lowest enlistment rate.

Photo: AdobeStock/rb_octo — Vermont has the fifth lowest enlistment rate.

Vermont, located near the top of New England, is the second least populated state. It also has the fifth lowest enlistment rate per capita, with 0.429 military enlistees per 1,000 adult civilians.

4. New Jersey

Photo: AdobeStock/rb_octo -- New Jersey has the fourth lowest enlistment rate.

Photo: AdobeStock/rb_octo — New Jersey has the fourth lowest enlistment rate.

Shortly down the New England coast, New Jersey is the most densely populated state, despite being the fourth smallest. It comes in with the fourth lowest enlistment rate, with 0.426 military enlistees per 1,000 adult civilians.

3. Rhode Island

Photo: AdobeStock/rb_octo -- Rhode Island has the third lowest enlistment rate.

Photo: AdobeStock/rb_octo — Rhode Island has the third lowest enlistment rate.

Staying in the New England area, Rhode Island ranks 48th out of 50 states for military enlistment from 2010 to 2015. Rhode Islanders averaged 0.408 military enlistees per 1,000 adult civilians.

2. Massachusetts

Photo: AdobeStock/rb_octo -- Massachusetts has the second lowest enlistment rate.

Photo: AdobeStock/rb_octo — Massachusetts has the second lowest enlistment rate.

“By the sword we seek peace, but peace only under liberty” is the motto of Massachusetts, but the New England state has the second lowest enlistment rate in the country. From 2010 to 2015, Massachusetts had an average of 0.407 military enlistees per 1,000 adult civilians.

1. North Dakota

Photo: AdobeStock/rb_octo -- North Dakotah has the lowest enlistment rate in the country.

Photo: AdobeStock/rb_octo — North Dakotah has the lowest enlistment rate in the country.

North Dakota ranks 50th out of 50 states with the lowest enlistment rate in the country. Located at the top center of the nation, North Dakota is the fourth least populated state as well.

Keep reading to find out which states have the highest enlistment rates!

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Jacob H. is an award-winning journalist and photojournalist who currently resides is West Michigan with his wife. In his spare time, Jacob enjoys writing, photography, mountain climbing, and camping.