The Least and Most Politically Engaged States


With Election Day coming up and only 61.4% of the voting age population having voted in the 2016 presidential election and 36.4% in the 2014 midterm, the personal-finance website WalletHub today released its report on 2018’s Most & Least Politically Engaged States as well as accompanying videos.

In order to determine where Americans are most involved in politics, WalletHub compared the 50 states and the District of Columbia across ten key indicators of political engagement. They range from “percentage of registered voters in the 2016 presidential election” to “total political contributions per adult population.”

Most Politically Engaged States Least Politically Engaged States
1 District of Columbia 42 South Dakota
2 Maine 43 Kentucky
3 Utah 44 New York
4 Maryland 45 West Virginia
5 Washington 46 Mississippi
6 Wyoming 47 Tennessee
7 Colorado 48 Indiana
8 Montana 49 Alabama
9 Virginia 50 Hawaii
10 Wisconsin 51 New Mexico

Key Stats

  • The District of Columbia has the highest share of citizens who actually voted in the 2016 presidential election, 74.34 percent, which is 1.6 times higher than in Hawaii, where the percentage is lowest at 47.27 percent.
  • Maine has the highest share of citizens who actually voted in the 2014 midterm elections, 61.50 percent, which is 1.8 times higher than in West Virginia, where the percentage is lowest at 33.60 percent.
  • There is a 0.6 correlation between the overall ranking of the states for political engagement and the level of education in each state (measured as the percentage of the population with at least a bachelor’s degree).
  • Blue states are more politically engaged, with an average ranking of 20.76, compared with 29.67 for Red states (1 = Best).

To view the full report and your state’s or the District’s ranking, please visit:

We asked Kevin Price, host of the nationally syndicated Price of Business show about his thoughts on the survey, he said “It should be no surprise people who live in DC are the most politically engaged.  It is analogous to the people in Laz Vegas being the most interested in hospitality, entertainment, and gambling.  However, there are some less obvious insights from the survey.  For example, Utah is among the most active because of the significant Mormon influence, which has long put politics as a priority.  Maryland and Virginia — with DC making 3 of the top 10 — both have huge populations that make a career in politics because of their geographical location. Vocation certainly plays a role in political interest levels.”  Price is also an editor with The Daily Blaze.

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