Here are the smartest US states, according to 2024 study

FILE - Close-up of a pencil on a page of an SAT college entrance exam preparation book, taken on August, 6, 2017, in Melville, New York. (Photo by Thomas A. Ferrara/Newsday RM via Getty Images)

Do you live in one of America’s smartest states? According to a recent study compiling factors like average IQ, graduation rates, and test scores, many in New England seem to be quite bright.

The analysis, compiled by education researchers at UTS Online, an online university that’s part of University of Technology Sydney in Australia, ranked Massachusetts at the top.

The ranking included 10 factors: the average IQ, high school graduation rates, college graduation rates, SAT and ACT scores, NAEP scores (or "the Nation's Report Card"), literacy rates, numeracy rates, share of State Value Added for Arts and Culture Production (ACPSA), and the number of colleges per capita. 

Average IQ, college graduation rates and SAT/ACT scores had the most weight in the rankings, the team said. 

What are the smartest states?

Massachusetts was given an overall intelligence score of 81.63, according to the researchers. It had the highest average IQ at 104.3, as well as the greatest score for both SAT and ACT exams combined. 

The Bay State, which is home to Harvard, M.I.T., and other prestigious universities, also had the highest graduation rate in the country, according to UTS researchers. 

New Hampshire came in second with a 79.52 intelligence score. It had the highest literacy and numeracy rates in the nation, the team found.   

Minnesota was ranked third with a total score of 78.39, ranking 4th for high school graduation rates and 10th for college graduation rates. The state had an average IQ score of 103.7, in addition to good results in national exams, UTS researchers said.

In fourth place was Vermont, with an overall intelligence score of 75.60. The state ranked higher thanks to its good literacy and numeracy rates, as well as a high school graduation rate of 93.3%, the team said.

Rounding out the top five was Washington state with a score of 69.20. What truly sets the Evergreen State ranked fourth for colleges per capita and good performances on standardized tests – landing in the top 10 for SAT, ACT, and NAEP scores.

Which states ranked at the bottom? 

Meanwhile, some states face challenges when it comes to testing and graduation rates. 

New Mexico was ranked last on the list of the smartest states in the U.S., with a total score of 17.74, according to UTS’ report. The state had one of the lowest scores on the SAT and ACT tests and one of the lowest rates of college graduates at 28.1.

Mississippi followed closely behind at the bottom of the list at 49th with a score of 18.96. The state had a low high school graduation rate of 85.3 and a low college graduation rate of 22.8, according to the report. It also had a low IQ average of 94.2, which is the lowest among all other states.

Louisiana ranked 48th on the list with a score of 20.59. The Pelican State had one of the lowest IQ averages, at 95.3, one of the lowest numeracy rates, at 58.4, and low scores on the SAT and ACT tests.

Here is the full ranking, according to UTS Online’s 2024 report:

  1. Massachusetts
  2. New Hampshire
  3. Minnesota
  4. Vermont
  5. Washington
  6. Montana
  7. Connecticut
  8. North Dakota
  9. Colorado
  10. Wyoming
  11. Wisconsin
  12. Utah
  13. Maine
  14. New Jersey
  15. Iowa
  16. Nebraska
  17. Virginia
  18. South Dakota
  19. Kansas
  20. Pennsylvania
  21. Maryland
  22. Oregon
  23. Alaska
  24. Idaho
  25. Michigan
  26. Illinois
  27. Indiana
  28. Ohio
  29. Missouri
  30. Hawaii
  31. Rhode Island
  32. New York
  33. North Carolina
  34. Delaware
  35. Georgia
  36. Tennessee
  37. Kentucky
  38. Florida
  39. Arizona
  40. South Carolina
  41. Nevada
  42. California
  43. Texas
  44. Oklahoma
  45. Arkansas
  46. Alabama
  47. West Virginia
  48. Louisiana
  49. Mississippi
  50. New Mexico

This story was reported from Cincinnati.