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States with the highest rates of military enlistment

  • BPTU // Shutterstock
    1/ BPTU // Shutterstock

    States with the highest rates of military enlistment

    Roughly 1.35 million Americans serve in the United States Armed Forces, down from 2.24 million in 1989, according to data from the World Bank. Enlistment rates, however, are by no means uniform across the country.

    Using data from the Center for Naval Analyses (CNA), a defense research and analysis organization, Stacker ranked all 50 states and the District of Columbia in terms of military enlistment rates. States are ranked by a representation ratio, which looks at the number of recruits as a share of a state’s population of 18 to 24 year olds. A ranking of 1 is exactly neutral, implying that the state’s share of recruits is equal to its share of America's population in the 18- to 24-year-old demographic. The total number of enlistees is also noted, and all data is taken from 2016 recruitment numbers. Southern, western, and southwestern states dominate the overrepresented side of the list while states in the northeast are more likely to be underrepresented.

    Read on to find out how your state measures up in terms of American military enlistment.

    ALSO: States sending the most young people to the military

  • Master Sgt. Craig Clapper // Air National Guard
    2/ Master Sgt. Craig Clapper // Air National Guard

    #51. District of Columbia

    Representation ratio: 0.29 — underrepresented
    Total number of enlistees: 99

  • SMSgt David H. Lipp // Air National Guard
    3/ SMSgt David H. Lipp // Air National Guard

    #50. North Dakota

    Representation ratio: 0.53 — underrepresented
    Total number of enlistees: 203

  • Senior Master Sgt. Julie Avey // Air National Guard
    4/ Senior Master Sgt. Julie Avey // Air National Guard

    #49. Massachusetts

    Representation ratio: 0.57 — underrepresented
    Total number of enlistees: 1,913

  • 2nd Class Shane Arrington // Army National Guard
    5/ 2nd Class Shane Arrington // Army National Guard

    #48. Rhode Island

    Representation ratio: 0.58 — underrepresented
    Total number of enlistees: 316

  • United States Navy // Wikimedia Commons
    6/ United States Navy // Wikimedia Commons

    #47. New York

    Representation ratio: 0.65 — underrepresented
    Total number of enlistees: 6,378

  • TSgt. Jeremy Giacoletto-Stegall // USAF
    7/ TSgt. Jeremy Giacoletto-Stegall // USAF

    #46. Utah

    Representation ratio: 0.69 — underrepresented
    Total number of enlistees: 1,051

  • US Army // Wikimedia Commons
    8/ US Army // Wikimedia Commons

    #45. Iowa

    Representation ratio: 0.7 — underrepresented
    Total number of enlistees: 996

  • Capt. Nathan T. Wallin // DOD
    9/ Capt. Nathan T. Wallin // DOD

    #44. Minnesota

    Representation ratio: 0.71 — underrepresented
    Total number of enlistees: 1,609

  • Sgt. 1st Class Mark Bell // US Army Reserve
    10/ Sgt. 1st Class Mark Bell // US Army Reserve

    #43. New Jersey

    Representation ratio: 0.71 — underrepresented
    Total number of enlistees: 2,901

  • Master Sgt. Rob Trubia // USAF
    11/ Master Sgt. Rob Trubia // USAF

    #42. Vermont

    Representation ratio: 0.71 — underrepresented
    Total number of enlistees: 184

  • Unknown // Wisconsin Department of Military Affairs
    12/ Unknown // Wisconsin Department of Military Affairs

    #41. Wisconsin

    Representation ratio: 0.75 — underrepresented
    Total number of enlistees: 2,033

  • Master Sgt. Culeen Shaffer // USAF
    13/ Master Sgt. Culeen Shaffer // USAF

    #40. Pennsylvania

    Representation ratio: 0.79 — underrepresented
    Total number of enlistees: 4,924

  • The National Guard // Wikimedia Commons
    14/ The National Guard // Wikimedia Commons

    #39. Nebraska

    Representation ratio: 0.8 — underrepresented
    Total number of enlistees: 766

  • Staff Sgt. Thomas Vega // Michigan National Guard
    15/ Staff Sgt. Thomas Vega // Michigan National Guard

    #38. Michigan

    Representation ratio: 0.81 — underrepresented
    Total number of enlistees: 3,800

  • The National Guard // Wikimedia Commons
    16/ The National Guard // Wikimedia Commons

    #37. Connecticut

    Representation ratio: 0.83 — underrepresented
    Total number of enlistees: 1,347

  • Staff Sgt. Lealan Buehrer // USAF
    17/ Staff Sgt. Lealan Buehrer // USAF

    #36. Illinois

    Representation ratio: 0.83 — underrepresented
    Total number of enlistees: 5,261

  • The National Guard // Flickr
    18/ The National Guard // Flickr

    #35. South Dakota

    Representation ratio: 0.84 — underrepresented
    Total number of enlistees: 318

  • Staff Sgt. Scott Raymond // Kentucky National Guard
    19/ Staff Sgt. Scott Raymond // Kentucky National Guard

    #34. Kentucky

    Representation ratio: 0.86 — underrepresented
    Total number of enlistees: 1,750

  • Staff Sgt. Alicia R. Leaders // USMC
    20/ Staff Sgt. Alicia R. Leaders // USMC

    #33. California

    Representation ratio: 0.88 — underrepresented
    Total number of enlistees: 17,729

  • Army Cyber // Wikimedia Commons
    21/ Army Cyber // Wikimedia Commons

    #32. Louisiana

    Representation ratio: 0.88 — underrepresented
    Total number of enlistees: 2,099

  • US Army
    22/ US Army

    #31. Kansas

    Representation ratio: 0.9 — underrepresented
    Total number of enlistees: 1,202

  • The National Guard // Flickr
    23/ The National Guard // Flickr

    #30. West Virginia

    Representation ratio: 0.91 — underrepresented
    Total number of enlistees: 767

  • John Turner // USAF
    24/ John Turner // USAF

    #29. Montana

    Representation ratio: 0.93 — underrepresented
    Total number of enlistees: 454

  • Kemberly Groue // USAF
    25/ Kemberly Groue // USAF

    #28. Mississippi

    Representation ratio: 0.95 — underrepresented
    Total number of enlistees: 1,428

  • STAFF SGT. RUSSELL LEE KLIKA // Wikimedia Commons
    26/ STAFF SGT. RUSSELL LEE KLIKA // Wikimedia Commons

    #27. Indiana

    Representation ratio: 0.98 — underrepresented
    Total number of enlistees: 2,922

  • Unknown // USAF
    27/ Unknown // USAF

    #26. Delaware

    Representation ratio: 1 — equally represented
    Total number of enlistees: 372

  • 3rd Class Taylor DiMartino // Navy Live
    28/ 3rd Class Taylor DiMartino // Navy Live

    #25. Maryland

    Representation ratio: 1.05 — overrepresented
    Total number of enlistees: 2,841

  • The National Guard // Flickr
    29/ The National Guard // Flickr

    #24. New Hampshire

    Representation ratio: 1.05 — overrepresented
    Total number of enlistees: 624

  • Sgt. Andrew Kuhn // DOD
    30/ Sgt. Andrew Kuhn // DOD

    #23. Ohio

    Representation ratio: 1.06 — overrepresented
    Total number of enlistees: 5,368

  • Staff Sgt. Jon McCallum // afrc.af.mil
    31/ Staff Sgt. Jon McCallum // afrc.af.mil

    #22. Tennessee

    Representation ratio: 1.06 — overrepresented
    Total number of enlistees: 3,239

  • Airman 1st Class Renishia Richardson // USAF
    32/ Airman 1st Class Renishia Richardson // USAF

    #21. Idaho

    Representation ratio: 1.08 — overrepresented
    Total number of enlistees: 876

  • Dennis Carlson // USAF
    33/ Dennis Carlson // USAF

    #20. New Mexico

    Representation ratio: 1.09 — overrepresented
    Total number of enlistees: 1,058

  • Airman 1st Class Luke W. Nowakowski // USAF
    34/ Airman 1st Class Luke W. Nowakowski // USAF

    #19. Wyoming

    Representation ratio: 1.09 — overrepresented
    Total number of enlistees: 278

  • Master Sgt. Michel Sauret // Wikimedia Commons
    35/ Master Sgt. Michel Sauret // Wikimedia Commons

    #18. Arkansas

    Representation ratio: 1.11 — overrepresented
    Total number of enlistees: 1,370

  • The National Guard // Flickr
    36/ The National Guard // Flickr

    #17. Maine

    Representation ratio: 1.11 — overrepresented
    Total number of enlistees: 562

  • Cpl. Justin Updegraff // USMC
    37/ Cpl. Justin Updegraff // USMC

    #16. North Carolina

    Representation ratio: 1.11 — overrepresented
    Total number of enlistees: 5,453

  • The National Guard // Flickr
    38/ The National Guard // Flickr

    #15. Oklahoma

    Representation ratio: 1.11 — overrepresented
    Total number of enlistees: 1,977

  • Oregon National Guard // Flickr
    39/ Oregon National Guard // Flickr

    #14. Oregon

    Representation ratio: 1.11 — overrepresented
    Total number of enlistees: 1,928

  • Sgt. 1st Class Jason Kriess // Wikimedia Commons
    40/ Sgt. 1st Class Jason Kriess // Wikimedia Commons

    #13. Washington

    Representation ratio: 1.14 — overrepresented
    Total number of enlistees: 3,347

  • Tech. Sgt. Traci Howells // Air National Guard
    41/ Tech. Sgt. Traci Howells // Air National Guard

    #12. Missouri

    Representation ratio: 1.17 — overrepresented
    Total number of enlistees: 2,948

  • Benjamin Faske // USAF
    42/ Benjamin Faske // USAF

    #11. Texas

    Representation ratio: 1.2 — overrepresented
    Total number of enlistees: 16,139

  • Senior Master Sgt. Ken Johnson // USAF
    43/ Senior Master Sgt. Ken Johnson // USAF

    #10. Alabama

    Representation ratio: 1.24 — overrepresented
    Total number of enlistees: 2,915

  • Capt. Virginia Lang // USAF DOD
    44/ Capt. Virginia Lang // USAF DOD

    #9. Alaska

    Representation ratio: 1.26 — overrepresented
    Total number of enlistees: 460

  • Sgt. Christopher O’Quin // USMC
    45/ Sgt. Christopher O’Quin // USMC

    #8. Hawaii

    Representation ratio: 1.28 — overrepresented
    Total number of enlistees: 892

  • Tech. Sgt. Jared Marquis // USAF
    46/ Tech. Sgt. Jared Marquis // USAF

    #7. Colorado

    Representation ratio: 1.29 — overrepresented
    Total number of enlistees: 2,774

  • Arizona National Guard // Flickr
    47/ Arizona National Guard // Flickr

    #6. Arizona

    Representation ratio: 1.31 — overrepresented
    Total number of enlistees: 3,947

  • Senior Airman Joshua Kleinholz // USAF
    48/ Senior Airman Joshua Kleinholz // USAF

    #5. Nevada

    Representation ratio: 1.31 — overrepresented
    Total number of enlistees: 1,614

  • Ashley Calingo // doncino.navy.mil
    49/ Ashley Calingo // doncino.navy.mil

    #4. Virginia

    Representation ratio: 1.37 — overrepresented
    Total number of enlistees: 4,900

  • SC National Guard // Flickr
    50/ SC National Guard // Flickr

    #3. South Carolina

    Representation ratio: 1.42 — overrepresented
    Total number of enlistees: 3,014

  • 2nd Class Marcus L. Stanley // USN
    51/ 2nd Class Marcus L. Stanley // USN

    #2. Florida

    Representation ratio: 1.43 — overrepresented
    Total number of enlistees: 11,552

  • GA National Guard // Flickr
    52/ GA National Guard // Flickr

    #1. Georgia

    Representation ratio: 1.50 — overrepresented
    Total number of enlistees: 6,758

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