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These Are the Most and Least Educated States of 2017

Source: WalletHub

Personal-finance website WalletHub has released its 2017 list of the most and least educated states in the U.S.; Massachusetts has been distinguished once again as the most educated state while West Virginia has been ranked as the worst.

WalletHub arrived at its findings using 11 different metrics which include:

  • Adults Aged 25 & Older with at Least a High School Diploma
  • Adults Aged 25 & Older with at Least Some College Experience or an Associate's Degree
  • Adults Aged 25 & Older with at Least a Bachelor's Degree
  • Adults Aged 25 & Older with at Least a Graduate or Professional Degree
  • Quality of Public-School System
  • Average Quality of Universities
  • Number of Enrolled Students in Top Universities per Capita & World Report's ranking of America's Top 200 Universities
  • Public High School Graduation Rate
  • Public College Graduation Rate 
  • Racial Gap in Educational Attainment 
  • Gender Gap in Educational Attainment 

Massachusetts consistently receives recognition for its quality education system. For this list, according to WalletHub, Massachusetts took the top distinction thanks to having the most residents who hold both a Bachelor's degree and graduate or professional degree.

The top ten most educated states are:

  1. Massachusetts
  2. Maryland
  3. Colorado
  4. Connecticut
  5. Vermont
  6. New Hampshire
  7. Virginia
  8. Minnesota
  9. Washington
  10. New Jersey

While the 10 least educated states are:

41. Oklahoma

42. Texas

43. Tennessee

44. Alabama

45. Nevada

46. Kentucky

47. Arkansas

48. Louisiana

49. Mississippi

50. West Virginia

Other interesting findings from WalletHub's study are based on its analysis of the racial and gender gap in educational attainment. WalletHub found that whites are significantly more likely to hold a Bachelor's degree (19.88 percent of the national population) when compared to blacks with similar attributes (12.77 percent of the national population), but in North Dakota, the opposite is true; WalletHub found that blacks living in North Dakota are more likely than their white counterparts to hold a Bachelor's degree.

"North Dakota has the highest racial gap in educational attainment, with the share of blacks aged 25 and older holding a bachelor's degree at 29.41 percent and 22.18 percent for their white counterparts, a difference of 7.23 percent favoring blacks," WalletHub said.

When it comes to a gender gap in education, women are slightly more likely to hold a Bachelor's degree (18.68 percent) when compared to males with the same attributes (18.35 percent).

WalletHub says it used data from the U.S. Census Bureau, National Center for Education Statistics, The Chronicle of Higher Education and U.S. News & World Report to arrive at its conclusions.

Read the full analysis here.

Nicole Gorman, Senior Education World Contributor


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