Let's face it, when people talk about education, most of us get a weird feeling inside. Do we hold up to those brainiacs? There will always be smarter people out there, but I know several extremely intelligent people from our great great state. Have you caught yourself wondering just how we rate as a state though? How smart are we residents of the Peace Garden State?

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Research by the free online education platform Guru99.com analyzed six different metrics: average IQ, graduation rates, percentage of the population with low literacy rates, average SAT scores, % of the states that don’t have a high school diploma or GED, and GDP per capita. These were then given a score out of 10 and combined to give a total score out of 60. I can say North Dakota made the top 10! 

10 – Utah / Index score 52.21

Utah ranks tenth on the list, Utah has an average IQ of 101.5 and the average SAT score is high at 1233. Utah also has graduation rates (93.17%) which are higher than the national average (90.96%). There’s only 14.5% of the population with low literacy as well which is under the nationwide average (19%).

9 – Wisconsin / Index score 52.45

Wisconsin is ninth in the ranking of smartest states in America. Across all of the American states, on average 9.2% of people don’t have a high school diploma or GED, in Wisconsin this figure is only 6.3%. The average SAT score is also 1252 which is the highest in America.

8 – South Dakota / Index score 52.61

South Dakota has a very similar GDP to North Dakota with $65,806, which could be attributed to the high graduation rate of 93.05%, as higher paying jobs are generally accessible to those who have higher levels of education and specialized knowledge.  

– Maine /  Index score 53.83 

Maine is seventh on the list, the state has the joint lowest percentage of the population with no high school diploma or GED (5.5%). Only 13.4% of the population has low literacy, which is below the average of low literacy across all states which is 19.2%.

6 – North Dakota / Index score 54.38 

North Dakota much like Montana has high average SAT scores, averaging 1212. The state also has high graduation rates with 93.62%. Along with the high standards of education, those who live in North Dakota generate more GPD per capita than many other states as well with $66,184.

5 – Montana / Index score 54.64 

Montana ranks as the fifth smartest state in America. Montana is another high-achieving state for SATs with an average score of 1206. On top of that, only 5.6% of the population doesn’t have a high school diploma or GED.

4 – Vermont / Index score  54.91 

Vermont has the lowest percentage of its population that doesn’t have a high school diploma or GED (5.5%), which could contribute to the higher average IQ of 102.2. Vermont also has good levels of literacy, with only 12.8% of the population deemed to have low literacy.

3 – Wyoming / Index score  54.98

Wyoming is the third smartest state, boasting even higher average SAT scores than Minnesota with 1244. Wyoming also has a high graduation rate of 93.59%, and higher levels of education are generally associated with those who aim to have higher-skilled jobs and therefore earn more, which may explain why the GDP per capita in Wyoming is one of the highest in America at $71,342.

2 – Minnesota / Index score  55.82

Minnesota ranks as the second smartest state. Only 5.8% of the entire population don’t have a high school diploma or GED and the average SAT score is 1225, which is one of the highest figures in America. On top of that Minnesota has high graduation rates of 94.13%. 

1 – New Hampshire / Index score  56.82

New Hampshire is the smartest state in America, data shows that on average the state has the highest IQ across the country with 103.2. The state also has the smallest % of the population with low literacy skills with 11.5%. New Hampshire also has one of the highest GDP per capita with $74,663.

Remember, Guru99.com did the heavy lifting on this. However you break all of this information down, our region consisting of North Dakota, Montana, Minnesota, and South Dakota ranked extremely well! If you get a chance, thank all those teachers who went above and beyond to make sure we got a good education!

LOOK: Best public high schools in North Dakota

Stacker compiled a list of the best public high schools in North Dakota using 2023 rankings from Niche.

Gallery Credit: Stacker

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LOOK: Best public high schools in Montana

Stacker compiled a list of the best public high schools in Montana using 2023 rankings from Niche.

Gallery Credit: Stacker

LOOK: Best public high schools in South Dakota

Stacker compiled a list of the best public high schools in South Dakota using 2023 rankings from Niche.

Gallery Credit: Stacker

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