The 20 Smartest States in the U.S., Ranked

Stacey Marcus
Think your state is wicked smart? Discover where it ranks in this list.
Think your state is wicked smart? Discover where it ranks in this list. / boytaro Thongbun, 500Px Plus Collection, Getty Images
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Have you ever wondered where all the super-smart people in America actually live? According to a recent analysis by PennStakes.com, New England shines with some of the brightest brains in the nation

To determine the overall smartest states in the U.S., researchers looked at a few key factors, including the number of academic degrees within the area’s population, as well as the average IQ, SAT, and ACT scores of residents. Massachusetts, home of Harvard University and a plethora of other prestigious colleges and schools, earned the top spot, with an overall index score of 93.9. The Bay State had the highest percentage of bachelor’s degrees (44.98 percent) and advanced degrees (20.30 percent) within its population, as well as the highest overall average ACT scores (27.6), and second-highest average IQ scores (103.1) in the country.

Aside from Massachusetts, Connecticut—which is home to Yale University—had the second highest rank in the nation with an overall index score of 73.8. Maryland (72.8), Virginia (72.5), and Vermont (72.2) round out the top five. While New Hampshire didn’t make the top five, the Granite State did have the highest average IQ score (103.2) in the U.S., while Minnesota had the third-highest IQ scores (102.9) and the most stellar SAT scores (1263).

Is your state one of America’s smartest? Find out the brain power of the top 20 below, according to the results

  1. Massachusetts // 93.9
  2. Connecticut // 73.8
  3. Maryland //  72.8
  4. Virginia // 72.5
  5. Vermont //  72.2
  6. New Hampshire // 70.5
  7. New Jersey // 69.5
  8. Colorado // 69.4
  9. Minnesota // 67.0
  10. Washington // 60.3
  11. New York // 57.8
  12. Maine // 55.8
  13. Utah // 55.5
  14. Kansas // 55.5
  15. Nebraska // 57.8
  16. Pennsylvania // 52.4
  17. Oregon // 52.0
  18. Montana // 51.9
  19. Illinois // 51.4
  20. Rhode Island // 50.5
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