As elections approach, NerdWallet took a closer look at which states have the most politically engaged voters. Across the United States, only 71.2 percent of citizens were registered to vote in 2012, and only 61.8 percent of citizens voted. Some places take their civic duty seriously, though, and sent 75 percent of citizens to the polls.
We gauged political engagement by state like this:
1. Are residents prepared to vote? We included the percentage of citizens who were registered to vote in the 2012 election.
2. Do residents actually vote? We included the percentage of citizens who voted in the 2012 election.
Most Politically Engaged
1. District of Columbia
Our nation’s capital came in at No. 1. Over 80 percent of the population was registered to vote, and D.C. has the highest voter turnout rate of any state or district. Almost 76 percent of citizens living in D.C. voted.
Mississippi had the highest percentage of registered voters of any state. Over 84 percent of citizens in Mississippi were registered to vote, though 10 percent of registered citizens didn’t make it to the polls, leaving a voter rate of 74.5 percent.
In the Land of 10,000 Lakes, 6 percent of registered voters didn’t cast ballots. 79 percent of citizens were registered to vote, and 73.2 percent of citizens voted in 2012.
Wisconsin should be celebrated for its civic engagement, as well as its dairy products. 78.1 percent of citizens were registered to vote, and 73.6 percent cast ballots in 2012, leaving 5 percent of the citizen population who registered, but did not vote.
The Bay State is known for its role in the American Revolution and ensuing American politics. Over 78 percent of citizens were registered to vote, and over 70 percent of citizens voted.
6. North Carolina
10 percent of North Carolina citizens who were registered to vote didn’t make it to the polls in 2012. 78.9 percent of citizens were registered to vote, and 68.9 percent voted in 2012.
Home to the Iowa Caucus, the first major electoral event of the presidential nominations, Iowa keeps its citizens engaged. Over 78 percent of Iowa’s residents were registered to vote, and more than 69 percent voted in the 2012 election.
77.1 percent of citizens in the Pine Tree State were registered to vote in 2012, and 68.6 percent made it to the polls.
9. New Hampshire
New Hampshire’s motto is “Live Free or Die,” and residents take their civic duty seriously. 75.9 percent of citizens were registered to vote, and 69.4 percent of citizens voted in the 2012 election.
77.8 percent of citizens living in the Mitten were registered to vote in 2012, and 66.8 percent of citizens voted.
|Rank||State||Percent registered (Citizen)||Percent voted (Citizen)||Overall score|
|1||DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA||83.4||75.9||98.4|
Data obtained from the U.S. Census