Where can you find the dumbest state in the US (as if our headline didn’t give it away)? West Virginia, according to the site infoplease.com.
In a recent review of educational accomplishments, the median household income (MHI), and average SAT scores, the website rounded up what is sure to be an equal-parts popular and unpopular study that should leave taxpayers in some states seething.
What Does It Take To Be The Dumbest State?
The Street notes that West Virginia holds an average SAT score of 1513 and a MHI of $40,196, the third lowest in the nation, while claiming a 17.3 percent rate for the number of citizens holding bachelor’s degrees.
Still, not all was bad news for the state. As The Street‘s Tony Owusu points out, “Despite this, the city of Morgantown, home to West Virginia University, was ranked by Forbes as one of the 10 best small cities in which to do business in 2010. In an effort to attract businesses, the state’s corporate income tax is set to be reduced to 6.5% from 8.5% this year.”
West Virginia was closely followed in the dumbest state race by Arkansas, which held a higher average SAT score of 1697, but fell near the bottom on MHI ($40,112 per year) and percentage of citizens with a bachelor’s degree (18.9 percent).
‘Red State’ Problems
Partisan junkies will also point out that among the dumbest states in America, most are so-called “red states” that vote predominantly Republican.
Of the 10 dumbest, nine of the 10 fit the bill. The one that didn’t — No. 6, Nevada — is led by Senate majority leader Harry Reid, a Democrat.
Nevada’s percentage of population with bachelor’s degrees is just 21.8 percent, while average SAT scores were much lower than West Virginia’s at 1454 and median household income fell at No. 27 in the entire country ($49,760).
Others included in the dumbest state list: Mississippi (No. 3), Kentucky (No. 4), Louisiana (No. 5), Alabama (No. 7), Indiana (No. 8), Oklahoma (No. 9), and Tennessee (No. 10).
Now The Good News…
The ten smartest states in the US broke down like this:
- No. 10 Minnesota
- No. 9 New Hampshire
- No. 8 New York
- No. 7 Vermont
- No. 6 Virginia
- No. 5 New Jersey
- No. 4 Connecticut
- No. 3 Maryland
- No. 2 Colorado
- No. 1 Massachusetts
What does it take to be the smartest?
According to Owusu, “Massachusetts is home to some of the most prestigious schools in the world including Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Tuffts University, Boston College and Wellesley… The state reported a gross state product of $404 billion in 2012, while per capita personal income was third highest in the nation at $53,221. Median household income in the state was $65,339 last year. Nearly a third of working residents in the state were employed in education, health care or social assistance.”
What do you think of the dumbest state list and West Virginia’s place at the top of it — flawed or spot-on?
[Image via Flickr Creative Commons]