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Most and least educated states in America

  • Most and least educated states in America
    1/ Unsplash

    Most and least educated states in America

    More than 50 million Americans each year attend public elementary and secondary schools, according to the National Center for Education Statistics, making the country's schooling system one of the farthest-reaching (and most impactful) government services. And while the debate over alternatives like charter schools rages on, one thing is undebatable: The future of the country lies in our youth, and our ability to educate them.

    As education is an issue handled at the state level; everything from curricula and budgets to graduation requirements vary state to state, making “an American education” hard to define.

    To help understand areas with the highest educational attainment, Stacker used data from the 2013–2017 American Community Survey (last updated 2017) to construct a weighted index which measures the relative education level for every state. This index evaluates each state's population older than 25 across seven educational tiers, ranging from individuals not educated past eighth grade to those with graduate or professional degrees.

    For each segment of these tiers, a points-based indexing system was applied in direct proportion to the estimated years of schooling for each level of educational attainment. Lastly, the full range of index scores was normalized to a 0 to 100 scale, with 100 representing the most educated state in the United States. What follows is a ranking from least educated to most of all the 50 states.

    So where does your state stack up? Read on to discover which states are the most educated in the U.S.

    You may also like: Most and least insured states in America

  • #50. West Virginia
    2/ Pixabay

    #50. West Virginia

    - Education index: 91.60
    - Less than high school: 4.7%
    - 9th to 12th grade, no diploma: 9.4%
    - High school graduate or equivalent: 40.6%
    - Some college, no degree: 18.5%
    - Associate's degree: 6.9%
    - Bachelor's degree: 12%
    - Graduate or professional degree: 7.9%

  • #49. Mississippi
    3/ Unsplash

    #49. Mississippi

    - Education index: 92.13
    - Less than high school: 5.6%
    - 9th to 12th grade, no diploma: 11%
    - High school graduate or equivalent: 30.4%
    - Some college, no degree: 22.6%
    - Associate's degree: 9.1%
    - Bachelor's degree: 13.3%
    - Graduate or professional degree: 8%

  • #48. Louisiana
    4/ PxHere

    #48. Louisiana

    - Education index: 92.34
    - Less than high school: 5.4%
    - 9th to 12th grade, no diploma: 10.3%
    - High school graduate or equivalent: 33.8%
    - Some college, no degree: 21.3%
    - Associate's degree: 5.8%
    - Bachelor's degree: 15.3%
    - Graduate or professional degree: 8.1%

  • #47. Arkansas
    5/ Pixabay

    #47. Arkansas

    - Education index: 92.35
    - Less than high school: 5.2%
    - 9th to 12th grade, no diploma: 9.2%
    - High school graduate or equivalent: 34.3%
    - Some college, no degree: 22.6%
    - Associate's degree: 6.7%
    - Bachelor's degree: 14.1%
    - Graduate or professional degree: 7.9%

  • #46. Kentucky
    6/ Max Pixel

    #46. Kentucky

    - Education index: 92.81
    - Less than high school: 6.1%
    - 9th to 12th grade, no diploma: 8.7%
    - High school graduate or equivalent: 33.1%
    - Some college, no degree: 20.9%
    - Associate's degree: 8%
    - Bachelor's degree: 13.6%
    - Graduate or professional degree: 9.6%

  • #45. Nevada
    7/ Stan Shebs // Wikimedia Commons

    #45. Nevada

    - Education index: 93.30
    - Less than high school: 5.9%
    - 9th to 12th grade, no diploma: 8.3%
    - High school graduate or equivalent: 28.3%
    - Some college, no degree: 25.8%
    - Associate's degree: 8.1%
    - Bachelor's degree: 15.6%
    - Graduate or professional degree: 8.1%

  • #44. Alabama
    8/ Max Pixel

    #44. Alabama

    - Education index: 93.40
    - Less than high school: 4.7%
    - 9th to 12th grade, no diploma: 10.0%
    - High school graduate or equivalent: 30.9%
    - Some college, no degree: 21.7%
    - Associate's degree: 8.2%
    - Bachelor's degree: 15.4%
    - Graduate or professional degree: 9.1%

  • #43. Texas
    9/ GoodFreePhotos

    #43. Texas

    - Education index: 93.63
    - Less than high school: 8.7%
    - 9th to 12th grade, no diploma: 8.5%
    - High school graduate or equivalent: 25.1%
    - Some college, no degree: 22.1%
    - Associate's degree: 6.9%
    - Bachelor's degree: 18.8%
    - Graduate or professional degree: 9.9%

  • #42. Tennessee
    10/ GoodFreePhotos

    #42. Tennessee

    - Education index: 93.90
    - Less than high school: 5.1%
    - 9th to 12th grade, no diploma: 8.4%
    - High school graduate or equivalent: 32.6%
    - Some college, no degree: 20.9%
    - Associate's degree: 7%
    - Bachelor's degree: 16.5%
    - Graduate or professional degree: 9.6%

  • #41. Oklahoma
    11/ Urbanative // Wikimedia Commons

    #41. Oklahoma

    - Education index: 93.92
    - Less than high school: 4.2%
    - 9th to 12th grade, no diploma: 8.3%
    - High school graduate or equivalent: 31.5%
    - Some college, no degree: 23.6%
    - Associate's degree: 7.6%
    - Bachelor's degree: 16.6%
    - Graduate or professional degree: 8.3%

  • #40. Indiana
    12/ Max Pixel

    #40. Indiana

    - Education index: 94.17
    - Less than high school: 3.8%
    - 9th to 12th grade, no diploma: 7.9%
    - High school graduate or equivalent: 33.8%
    - Some college, no degree: 20.7%
    - Associate's degree: 8.5%
    - Bachelor's degree: 16.1%
    - Graduate or professional degree: 9.2%

  • #39. New Mexico
    13/ Thomas Shahan // Wikimedia Commons

    #39. New Mexico

    - Education index: 94.30
    - Less than high school: 6.5%
    - 9th to 12th grade, no diploma: 8.5%
    - High school graduate or equivalent: 26.4%
    - Some college, no degree: 23.5%
    - Associate's degree: 8.2%
    - Bachelor's degree: 15.1%
    - Graduate or professional degree: 11.8%

  • #38. South Carolina
    14/ Pixabay // Picryl

    #38. South Carolina

    - Education index: 94.50
    - Less than high school: 4.5%
    - 9th to 12th grade, no diploma: 9%
    - High school graduate or equivalent: 29.4%
    - Some college, no degree: 20.8%
    - Associate's degree: 9.3%
    - Bachelor's degree: 17.2%
    - Graduate or professional degree: 9.8%

  • #37. California
    15/ Max Pixel

    #37. California

    - Education index: 94.97
    - Less than high school: 9.7%
    - 9th to 12th grade, no diploma: 7.8%
    - High school graduate or equivalent: 20.6%
    - Some college, no degree: 21.5%
    - Associate's degree: 7.8%
    - Bachelor's degree: 20.4%
    - Graduate or professional degree: 12.2%

  • #36. Arizona
    16/ W. Bulach // Wikimedia Commons

    #36. Arizona

    - Education index: 95.16
    - Less than high school: 5.9%
    - 9th to 12th grade, no diploma: 7.6%
    - High school graduate or equivalent: 24.2%
    - Some college, no degree: 25.3%
    - Associate's degree: 8.6%
    - Bachelor's degree: 17.8%
    - Graduate or professional degree: 10.7%

  • #35. Ohio
    17/ Max Pixel

    #35. Ohio

    - Education index: 95.18
    - Less than high school: 2.9%
    - 9th to 12th grade, no diploma: 7.3%
    - High school graduate or equivalent: 33.6%
    - Some college, no degree: 20.5%
    - Associate's degree: 8.5%
    - Bachelor's degree: 17%
    - Graduate or professional degree: 10.2%

  • #34. Florida
    18/ Pixabay

    #34. Florida

    - Education index: 95.20
    - Less than high school: 5.1%
    - 9th to 12th grade, no diploma: 7.3%
    - High school graduate or equivalent: 29%
    - Some college, no degree: 20.4%
    - Associate's degree: 9.8%
    - Bachelor's degree: 18.2%
    - Graduate or professional degree: 10.3%

  • #33. Georgia
    19/ Sean Pavone // Shutterstock

    #33. Georgia

    - Education index: 95.23
    - Less than high school: 5%
    - 9th to 12th grade, no diploma: 8.7%
    - High school graduate or equivalent: 28%
    - Some college, no degree: 20.8%
    - Associate's degree: 7.5%
    - Bachelor's degree: 18.6%
    - Graduate or professional degree: 11.4%

  • #32. Idaho
    20/ Wikimedia Commons

    #32. Idaho

    - Education index: 95.31
    - Less than high school: 3.7%
    - 9th to 12th grade, no diploma: 6.1%
    - High school graduate or equivalent: 27.4%
    - Some college, no degree: 26.6%
    - Associate's degree: 9.5%
    - Bachelor's degree: 18.2%
    - Graduate or professional degree: 8.5%

  • #31. Missouri
    21/ Pixabay

    #31. Missouri

    - Education index: 95.40
    - Less than high school: 3.4%
    - 9th to 12th grade, no diploma: 7.4%
    - High school graduate or equivalent: 30.9%
    - Some college, no degree: 22.4%
    - Associate's degree: 7.7%
    - Bachelor's degree: 17.5%
    - Graduate or professional degree: 10.7%

  • #30. North Carolina
    22/ Public Domain Pictures

    #30. North Carolina

    - Education index: 95.48
    - Less than high school: 4.9%
    - 9th to 12th grade, no diploma: 8.2%
    - High school graduate or equivalent: 26.1%
    - Some college, no degree: 21.7%
    - Associate's degree: 9.3%
    - Bachelor's degree: 19.2%
    - Graduate or professional degree: 10.6%

  • #29. South Dakota
    23/ GoodFreePhotos

    #29. South Dakota

    - Education index: 95.73
    - Less than high school: 3.4%
    - 9th to 12th grade, no diploma: 5.2%
    - High school graduate or equivalent: 30.5%
    - Some college, no degree: 21.8%
    - Associate's degree: 11.3%
    - Bachelor's degree: 19.5%
    - Graduate or professional degree: 8.3%

  • #28. Iowa
    24/ Max Pixel

    #28. Iowa

    - Education index: 95.85
    - Less than high school: 3.2%
    - 9th to 12th grade, no diploma: 5%
    - High school graduate or equivalent: 31.5%
    - Some college, no degree: 21.3%
    - Associate's degree: 11.3%
    - Bachelor's degree: 18.7%
    - Graduate or professional degree: 9%

  • #27. Pennsylvania
    25/ GPA Photo Archive // Flickr

    #27. Pennsylvania

    - Education index: 95.92
    - Less than high school: 3.3%
    - 9th to 12th grade, no diploma: 6.8%
    - High school graduate or equivalent: 35.6%
    - Some college, no degree: 16.1%
    - Associate's degree: 8.2%
    - Bachelor's degree: 18.3%
    - Graduate or professional degree: 11.8%

  • #26. Michigan
    26/ Pixabay

    #26. Michigan

    - Education index: 95.94
    - Less than high school: 3%
    - 9th to 12th grade, no diploma: 6.7%
    - High school graduate or equivalent: 29.3%
    - Some college, no degree: 23.6%
    - Associate's degree: 9.3%
    - Bachelor's degree: 17.1%
    - Graduate or professional degree: 11%

  • #25. Wyoming
    27/ Pixabay

    #25. Wyoming

    - Education index: 96.17
    - Less than high school: 1.8%
    - 9th to 12th grade, no diploma: 5.4%
    - High school graduate or equivalent: 28.7%
    - Some college, no degree: 26.4%
    - Associate's degree: 10.9%
    - Bachelor's degree: 17.4%
    - Graduate or professional degree: 9.3%

  • #24. Delaware
    28/ Bruce Goerlitz Photo // Shutterstock

    #24. Delaware

    - Education index: 96.17
    - Less than high school: 3.6%
    - 9th to 12th grade, no diploma: 7.1%
    - High school graduate or equivalent: 31.2%
    - Some college, no degree: 19.3%
    - Associate's degree: 7.8%
    - Bachelor's degree: 18%
    - Graduate or professional degree: 12.9%

  • #23. Rhode Island
    29/ Public Domain Pictures

    #23. Rhode Island

    - Education index: 96.20
    - Less than high school: 5.5%
    - 9th to 12th grade, no diploma: 7.2%
    - High school graduate or equivalent: 27.9%
    - Some college, no degree: 18.1%
    - Associate's degree: 8.3%
    - Bachelor's degree: 19.8%
    - Graduate or professional degree: 13.1%

  • #22. Wisconsin
    30/ Pixabay

    #22. Wisconsin

    - Education index: 96.36
    - Less than high school: 2.8%
    - 9th to 12th grade, no diploma: 5.5%
    - High school graduate or equivalent: 31.3%
    - Some college, no degree: 20.9%
    - Associate's degree: 10.5%
    - Bachelor's degree: 19.2%
    - Graduate or professional degree: 9.9%

  • #21. North Dakota
    31/ USFWS Mountain-Prairie // Flickr

    #21. North Dakota

    - Education index: 96.40
    - Less than high school: 3.3%
    - 9th to 12th grade, no diploma: 4.4%
    - High school graduate or equivalent: 27.1%
    - Some college, no degree: 22.7%
    - Associate's degree: 13.5%
    - Bachelor's degree: 21.1%
    - Graduate or professional degree: 7.8%

  • #20. Maine
    32/ Pixabay

    #20. Maine

    - Education index: 96.53
    - Less than high school: 2.8%
    - 9th to 12th grade, no diploma: 5.1%
    - High school graduate or equivalent: 32.3%
    - Some college, no degree: 19.5%
    - Associate's degree: 10%
    - Bachelor's degree: 19.3%
    - Graduate or professional degree: 10.9%

  • #19. Nebraska
    33/ Pixabay

    #19. Nebraska

    - Education index: 96.58
    - Less than high school: 4.1%
    - 9th to 12th grade, no diploma: 5%
    - High school graduate or equivalent: 26.7%
    - Some college, no degree: 23.4%
    - Associate's degree: 10.2%
    - Bachelor's degree: 20.4%
    - Graduate or professional degree: 10.2%

  • #18. Alaska
    34/ Max Pixel

    #18. Alaska

    - Education index: 96.60
    - Less than high school: 2.7%
    - 9th to 12th grade, no diploma: 4.9%
    - High school graduate or equivalent: 27.6%
    - Some college, no degree: 27.3%
    - Associate's degree: 8.5%
    - Bachelor's degree: 18.6%
    - Graduate or professional degree: 10.4%

  • #17. Illinois
    35/ Joseph Norton and Ronald Frazier // Wikimedia Commons

    #17. Illinois

    - Education index: 96.88
    - Less than high school: 5.2%
    - 9th to 12th grade, no diploma: 6.3%
    - High school graduate or equivalent: 26.3%
    - Some college, no degree: 20.9%
    - Associate's degree: 7.9%
    - Bachelor's degree: 20.5%
    - Graduate or professional degree: 13%

  • #16. Kansas
    36/ James Watkins // Flickr

    #16. Kansas

    - Education index: 96.93
    - Less than high school: 3.7%
    - 9th to 12th grade, no diploma: 5.8%
    - High school graduate or equivalent: 26.2%
    - Some college, no degree: 23.6%
    - Associate's degree: 8.3%
    - Bachelor's degree: 20.6%
    - Graduate or professional degree: 11.7%

  • #15. New York
    37/ Matthew Rutledge // Flickr

    #15. New York

    - Education index: 96.97
    - Less than high school: 6.5%
    - 9th to 12th grade, no diploma: 7.4%
    - High school graduate or equivalent: 26.3%
    - Some college, no degree: 15.9%
    - Associate's degree: 8.7%
    - Bachelor's degree: 19.9%
    - Graduate or professional degree: 15.4%

  • #14. Montana
    38/ Unsplash

    #14. Montana

    - Education index: 97.10
    - Less than high school: 2.1%
    - 9th to 12th grade, no diploma: 5%
    - High school graduate or equivalent: 29.3%
    - Some college, no degree: 24.2%
    - Associate's degree: 8.8%
    - Bachelor's degree: 20.6%
    - Graduate or professional degree: 10.1%

  • #13. Hawaii
    39/ Pixabay

    #13. Hawaii

    - Education index: 97.19
    - Less than high school: 3.8%
    - 9th to 12th grade, no diploma: 4.6%
    - High school graduate or equivalent: 27.8%
    - Some college, no degree: 21.4%
    - Associate's degree: 10.5%
    - Bachelor's degree: 21.2%
    - Graduate or professional degree: 10.8%

  • #12. Oregon
    40/ Pixabay

    #12. Oregon

    - Education index: 97.25
    - Less than high school: 3.8%
    - 9th to 12th grade, no diploma: 6%
    - High school graduate or equivalent: 23.4%
    - Some college, no degree: 25.8%
    - Associate's degree: 8.7%
    - Bachelor's degree: 20.1%
    - Graduate or professional degree: 12.2%

  • #11. Utah
    41/ Pixabay

    #11. Utah

    - Education index: 97.77
    - Less than high school: 2.9%
    - 9th to 12th grade, no diploma: 5.4%
    - High school graduate or equivalent: 22.8%
    - Some college, no degree: 26.8%
    - Associate's degree: 9.7%
    - Bachelor's degree: 21.5%
    - Graduate or professional degree: 11%

  • #10. New Jersey
    42/ Andrew Zarivny // Shutterstock

    #10. New Jersey

    - Education index: 97.87
    - Less than high school: 5.1%
    - 9th to 12th grade, no diploma: 5.7%
    - High school graduate or equivalent: 27.9%
    - Some college, no degree: 16.6%
    - Associate's degree: 6.5%
    - Bachelor's degree: 23.4%
    - Graduate or professional degree: 14.7%

  • #9. Washington
    43/ Unsplash

    #9. Washington

    - Education index: 97.97
    - Less than high school: 3.8%
    - 9th to 12th grade, no diploma: 5.3%
    - High school graduate or equivalent: 22.5%
    - Some college, no degree: 24%
    - Associate's degree: 9.9%
    - Bachelor's degree: 21.7%
    - Graduate or professional degree: 12.7%

  • #8. Minnesota
    44/ Pixabay

    #8. Minnesota

    - Education index: 98.42
    - Less than high school: 3%
    - 9th to 12th grade, no diploma: 4.2%
    - High school graduate or equivalent: 25.4%
    - Some college, no degree: 21.5%
    - Associate's degree: 11.1%
    - Bachelor's degree: 23%
    - Graduate or professional degree: 11.8%

  • #7. Virginia
    45/ Pixabay

    #7. Virginia

    - Education index: 98.52
    - Less than high school: 4.5%
    - 9th to 12th grade, no diploma: 6.5%
    - High school graduate or equivalent: 24.3%
    - Some college, no degree: 19.7%
    - Associate's degree: 7.5%
    - Bachelor's degree: 21.5%
    - Graduate or professional degree: 16.1%

  • #6. Vermont
    46/ Public Domain Pictures

    #6. Vermont

    - Education index: 98.84
    - Less than high school: 2.6%
    - 9th to 12th grade, no diploma: 5.2%
    - High school graduate or equivalent: 29.6%
    - Some college, no degree: 17.4%
    - Associate's degree: 8.5%
    - Bachelor's degree: 21.8%
    - Graduate or professional degree: 15%

  • #5. New Hampshire
    47/ Pixabay

    #5. New Hampshire

    - Education index: 98.85
    - Less than high school: 2.2%
    - 9th to 12th grade, no diploma: 4.9%
    - High school graduate or equivalent: 28%
    - Some college, no degree: 18.8%
    - Associate's degree: 10%
    - Bachelor's degree: 22.3%
    - Graduate or professional degree: 13.8%

  • #4. Connecticut
    48/ Pixabay

    #4. Connecticut

    - Education index: 98.93
    - Less than high school: 4.2%
    - 9th to 12th grade, no diploma: 5.6%
    - High school graduate or equivalent: 27.2%
    - Some college, no degree: 17%
    - Associate's degree: 7.6%
    - Bachelor's degree: 21.5%
    - Graduate or professional degree: 17%

  • #3. Maryland
    49/ PxHere

    #3. Maryland

    - Education index: 99.09
    - Less than high school: 4.1%
    - 9th to 12th grade, no diploma: 6.1%
    - High school graduate or equivalent: 25.1%
    - Some college, no degree: 19.2%
    - Associate's degree: 6.5%
    - Bachelor's degree: 21%
    - Graduate or professional degree: 18%

  • #2. Colorado
    50/ Unsplash

    #2. Colorado

    - Education index: 99.45
    - Less than high school: 3.6%
    - 9th to 12th grade, no diploma: 5.2%
    - High school graduate or equivalent: 21.6%
    - Some college, no degree: 21.8%
    - Associate's degree: 8.4%
    - Bachelor's degree: 24.8%
    - Graduate or professional degree: 14.6%

  • #1. Massachusetts
    51/ Pixabay

    #1. Massachusetts

    - Education index: 100.00
    - Less than high school: 4.6%
    - 9th to 12th grade, no diploma: 5.1%
    - High school graduate or equivalent: 24.7%
    - Some college, no degree: 15.8%
    - Associate's degree: 7.7%
    - Bachelor's degree: 23.4%
    - Graduate or professional degree: 18.7%

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