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Least Educated States

Least Educated States
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Introduction

Education is a fundamental pillar of society and serves as a springboard to personal and professional success. Yet, the landscape of educational attainment varies significantly across the United States, from the bustling metropolises of the Northeast to the rural expanses of the Midwest and the cultural mosaic of the South.

  • A higher educational attainment can be seen in the Northeast and parts of the Midwestern United States, with states such as Massachusetts, Connecticut, and Maryland ranking within the top five. 
  • Conversely, the Southern United States showed a lower level of education attainment. In the ten lowest-ranking states, seven were from the Southern region of the country, including West Virginia, Mississippi, Louisiana, Arkansas, Alabama, Oklahoma, and Texas. 
  • Regions with large urban centers like New York and California displayed a higher level of educational attainment.
  • Surprisingly, Alaska, the country's most sparsely populated state, ranked better than states with larger populations, with an index score of 43.1.

10 Least Educated States

According to the data provided by 'Penn Stakes', West Virginia has the lowest education index score in the U.S., with a mere 12.6. A slightly higher percentage can be found in Mississippi where the score is only slightly better at 13.3. 

Louisiana, Arkansas, and Naveda follow with 15.2, 19.1, and 20.0 respectively. From 20.4 in New Mexico to 28.0 in South Carolina, the rates highlight a stark contrast when compared to the national average over these states. Alabama and Oklahoma both sit at 22.4, with Texas slightly higher at 23.9.

10 Least Educated States:

  1. West Virginia - 12.6
  2. Mississippi - 13.3
  3. Louisiana - 15.2
  4. Arkansas - 19.1
  5. Nevada - 20.0
  6. New Mexico - 20.4
  7. Alabama - 22.4
  8. Oklahoma - 22.4
  9. Texas - 23.9
  10. South Carolina - 28.0

Full Data Set

Frequently Asked Questions

Methodology