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20 Smartest and Dumbest States


Do you live in one of the smartest states or one of the dumbest? Or are you somewhere in between? Even if you don’t want to know, Main Street released a study based on a comprehensive study from 2007 released by Morgan Quitno Press, an independent research company that specializes in state data. They took into account several key educational factors such as math and reading proficiency at various grade levels, high school dropout rates, class size and the average ratio of students to teachers.

The second part of the report, Main Street used was a state-by-state breakdown of SAT scores compiled by the College Board.

We begin with the 10 smartest states, followed by the 10 dumbest, according to the aforementioned criteria:
#10 Virginia

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  1. William J. on June 24, 2013 at 1:19 pm

    Definitely the worst list compiled… New Jersey in the #7 smart spot? Please research before spamming.

  2. Will737 on June 28, 2013 at 4:38 pm

    Actually, I bet this listing does not allow for people, like Hispanics, who have a language other than English as their first language. I bet it uses their English scores only.

  3. Angelo Baca on September 30, 2013 at 9:49 pm

    This needs to be updated because New Mexico is now much more educated than it was in the 90’s. Today, New Mexico averages 74% graduation rate. Compare that to 1996 at only 30%. This list also was counting El Paso, TX and this was making people perceive New Mexico as a dumb place. To be honest, they’re the dumb ones who don’t even know their geography! Really!?

    • Nope on June 11, 2014 at 12:39 am

      Actually as a New Mexico resident I’d have to say the utter lack of even a rudimentary understanding of basic knowledge is shocking. I was learning things during my freshmen year in high school at a little rural school in Iowa that they don’t teach until college here. pathetic.

  4. Emily on October 3, 2013 at 5:58 pm

    Florida is most definitely one of the smartest states. Kids in Florida learn a year ahead of what Northern states kids learn. Kids in Michigan and Illinois and states around there don’t really understand Southern states.

    • sandman7733 on November 17, 2013 at 1:28 am

      You could not be any further from the truth. Look at the statistics. Students in states like Iowa, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Vermont, New Hampshire and Nebraska trounce students in Florida and the South in general. As far as number of college graduates (per capita), the states with the highest are (in order) Massachusetts, North Dakota, Minnesota, New York, Connecticut, New Jersey, Iowa, New Hampshire and Maryland. And, according to Fox News, the LEAST educated states are, (in order) West Virginia, Mississippi, Arkansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Alabama, Nevada, Indiana, Tennessee, Oklahoma. The MOST educated (in order) Massachusetts, Maryland, Colorado, Connecticut, Vermont, New Jersey, Virginia, New Hampshire, New York, Minnesota. Not to mention that Miami is one of the LEAST literate cities, one of the LEAST safest cities to live, as well as one of the LEAST healthiest. Can you say “OUCH.” Your claim is ludicrous, at best. Oh, and you lost the Civil War. Get over it.

      • Hunter on November 20, 2013 at 9:27 pm

        You need to take a look at what you just said. “According to Fox News” People who watch fox news have been shown to be more ignorant about national and international events than people who do not watch or read any news.

  5. Emily on October 3, 2013 at 6:01 pm

    Northern people, though it is better when it comes to area, like mountains and getting snow and stuff, aren’t as educated and don’t have as much common sense and understanding of life that Southern states have felt and known since a very young age.

    • David McDonald on October 27, 2013 at 10:20 pm

      We deal with climates you can only imagine. I’m from Minnesota and we have more common sense in our little pinky than Southern States do in their entire existence on God’s green earth.

      • sandman7733 on November 17, 2013 at 1:45 am

        Her claims are nothing but a joke. The people of Minnesota are routinely rated as some of the most educated, healthiest and literate in the country. Not to mention that “Money Magazine” (among others) always rates cities in Minnesota as being some of the “Best Places to Live” and “Best Places to Raise Children.” Just a few years back in “Money Magazines” Best Cities to Live rankings, 5 out of the Top 16 cities were in Minnesota, including the #1 city (Eden Prairie). Sure, the Winters in Minnesota can be very rough, but they seem to embrace it very, very well (Winter Carnival, Pond Hockey Tourney, High School Hockey Tournament, etc..). I’ll take Minnesota, New Hampshire, Iowa, Vermont, Wisconsin and Massachusetts over states such as Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Kentucky and South Carolina anytime.

    • sandman7733 on November 17, 2013 at 1:08 am

      You are hilarious!!!! You are joking……right?? Then why, why do Southern states routinely rank at the bottom in terms of education, health, literacy as well as having the highest crime rates?? Go ahead, look it up in ANY poll. States such as Mississippi, Louisiana, and Alabama are at or near the bottom in virtually everything positive. The states in the Northeast (Vermont, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Connecticut, etc.,.), as well as states in the upper Midwest (Minnesota, Iowa, Nebraska, Wisconsin) ALWAYS rate at or near the top in terms of education, health , literacy, etc.. As far as crime goes (per FBI Uniform Statistics), the New England states have the lowest crime rates, and the states in the Southeast have the highest. Instead of just telling us what you think, try providing some empirical proof, such as graduation rates, test scores, etc.. According to the Wall Street Journal, the 5 MOST Literate cities in the U.S. are, in order from 1-5: Washington D.C., Seattle, WA, Minneapolis, MN, Pittsburgh, PA and Denver, CO. (4/5 IN THE NORTH with D.C. being neutral). Least Literate: Corpus Christi, TX, El Paso, TX, San Antonio, TX, Bakersfield, CA, Miami, FL. (all but one IN THE SOUTH). Students in Massachusetts and Minnesota score at the top in math and science, with Alabama and Mississippi at the bottom. It goes on, and on, and on, and on. Sorry, but the states in the South are the closest thing the U.S. has to being a 3rd world country.

  6. DaveyJones on December 13, 2013 at 11:23 am

    Slideshows are horribly tedious ways to present information

  7. Jonathan Clark on January 23, 2014 at 10:37 pm

    It’s quite shocking and frustrating to find Hawaii as #1 in Overall Well-being, but the 4th dumbest. How could that be?

    • Tim Shannon on March 10, 2014 at 9:16 am

      Ignorance is bliss?

  8. Conlon Schuller on March 12, 2014 at 12:04 pm

    The most falsified document I have ever heard. I just moved from Washington to Iowa, and the majority of my 8th grade class in Iowa can’t spell or even read correctly. In Washington, I didn’t know anybody in all three of the 7th grade classes that had below a B-. Rethink your statement

  9. Elizabeth on October 18, 2014 at 10:46 pm

    Wow I live in the dumbest state.

  10. ivan on March 13, 2015 at 11:44 am

    Nebraska is the most smartest state

  11. ivan on March 13, 2015 at 11:46 am

    I saw that nebraska was the 4 smartest in the world