The 10 Most And Least Educated States In The U.S.


We want our families to have as many advantages as we can give them, including making sure our kids have access to the best schools available. Education is an important key for success, with college graduates earning more money over a lifetime than their non-degreed counterparts and having a lower overall risk of unemployment.

But according to a new study by Wallethub, when it comes to education, all is not created equal. Education varies widely by city and state, and where you choose to live could be a factor in your level of education.

The study compared all 50 states across 15 different metrics, basing their findings on statistics on how many adults over the age of 25 have a high school diploma, gender and race gaps, and the average quality of each state’s universities. Each state was given an overall score, as well as rankings in educational attainment and quality of education.

“Educational attainment” rankings were based on levels of education for adults 25 and older, including data on adults who had a high school diploma, those with some college and those with graduate or professional degrees.

“Quality of education” rankings were determined by the quality of the school systems and universities, NAEP math and reading test scores, and high school and college graduation rates.

Without further ado, here are the 10 most and least educated states in the U.S.

10 Most Educated States:

1. Massachusetts

With an overall score of 81.92, New England’s Massachusetts was also ranked number one in both educational attainment and quality of education.

2. Maryland

Maryland came in second with a score of 76.54 and a ranking of number three in educational attainment and number two in quality of education.

3. Connecticut

Ranked at number four in educational attainment and number nine for quality of education, Connecticut scored 71.90 overall.

4. Vermont

Coming in very close behind Connecticut, Vermont scored 71.14 and was ranked sixth for educational attainment and third for quality of education.

5. Colorado

The state of Colorado ended up right in the middle of the top 10, with an overall score of 70.17. It ranked highly in educational attainment (second place), but was middle of the road (23rd) for quality of education.

6. Virginia

Number six on the list, Virginia had a score of 69.3, and was ranked seventh in attainment and fifth in quality of education.

7. New Hampshire

New Hampshire scored 68.28, with fifth place in educational attainment and 13th in quality.

8. Minnesota

North Star state Minnesota netted eighth place with an overall score of 66.28 and rankings of eighth in attainment levels and 14th in quality of education.

9. Washington

Washington state was give an overall score of 64.86 and ranked nineth for educational attainment and 11th for quality.

10. New Jersey

Squeaking in at number 10, New Jersey had a total score of 64.60 and was ranked 10th in both educational attainment and quality of education.

10 Least Educated States:

10. New Mexico

It’s slogan might be the Land of Enchantment, but unfortunately New Mexico only earned a score of 36.11 and ranked 38th for educational attainment and 49th for quality.

9. Oklahoma

Oklahoma scored 35.58 overall, and ranked 41st for attainment and 35th for quality in education.

8. Tennessee

Tennessee was given an overall score of 35.52 and a rank of 42nd for educational attainment and 31st for quality.

7. Nevada

With an overall score of 32.84 and a ranking of 44th for educational attainment and 37th in quality, Nevada’s gambles didn’t pay off when it comes to education.

6. Kentucky

Bluegrass state of Kentucky came in with a score of 31.80 and rank of 46th for attainment and 26th for education quality.

5. Alabama

Alabama scored 31.33 overall and was ranked 45th for educational attainment and 40th for quality.

4. Arkansas

Southern state Arkansas was scored at 27.18 overall and had a rank of 47th for attainment and 34th for quality.

3. Louisiana

The Big Easy came in toward the end of the ranks with an overall score of 22.96, a rank of 48th for educational attainment and 47th for quality.

2. West Virginia

West Virginia was the 2nd least educated state, with a score of 21.71. It was ranked at 50 for educational attainment and 42 for quality in education.

1. Mississippi

Unfortunately, the state of Mississippi ranks as the least educated state in the U.S., with an overall score of 21.06 and a rating of 49th for attainment and 50th for quality.