West Virginia in Last Place: The Least To Most Educated States of America (2023)

A quality education is key for many Americans to unlocking career options, boosting earnings, and fostering social networks. Higher education levels correlate with increased income and reduced unemployment risks.

Most Educated States In America

boy in class

However, there are certain states that deliver superior education compared to others. WalletHub made a study that evaluated all 50 states using 18 metrics, assessing factors such as educational achievement, school quality, and gender and race-based achievement disparities.

Here are the states from least to most educated:

50. West Virginia

studying with laptop

Total Score: 22.40

Educational Attainment: 50

Quality of Education: 47

49. Mississippi

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Total Score: 25.64

Educational Attainment: 49 

Quality of Education: 45

48. Louisiana

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Total Score: 27.36

Educational Attainment: 48 

Quality of Education: 43

47. Arkansas

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Total Score: 30.87

Educational Attainment: 47 

Quality of Education: 27

46. Alabama

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Total Score: 34.46

Educational Attainment: 44 

Quality of Education: 39

45. Oklahoma

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Total Score: 35.32

Educational Attainment: 43

Quality of Education: 42

44. Nevada

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Total Score: 35.70

Educational Attainment: 45 

Quality of Education: 23

43. Kentucky

teen studying thinking

Total Score: 35.70

Educational Attainment: 46 

Quality of Education: 19

42. New Mexico

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Total Score: 36.99

Educational Attainment: 39 

Quality of Education: 48

41. Texas

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Total Score: 40.14

Educational Attainment: 42 

Quality of Education: 17

40. Tennessee

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Total Score: 41.16

Educational Attainment: 40 

Quality of Education: 19

39. South Carolina

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Total Score: 42.09

Educational Attainment: 38 

Quality of Education: 34

38. Indiana

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Total Score: 42.60

Educational Attainment: 41 

Quality of Education: 9

37. Arizona

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Total Score: 44.37

Educational Attainment: 32 

Quality of Education: 44

36. Idaho

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Total Score: 46.18

Educational Attainment: 34 

Quality of Education: 32

35. South Dakota

woman with book in library

Total Score: 46.34

Educational Attainment: 30 

Quality of Education: 40

34. Ohio

finishing her college work

Total Score: 46.39

Educational Attainment: 36 

Quality of Education: 21

33. Missouri

english language professor

Total Score: 47.31

Educational Attainment: 31 

Quality of Education: 33

32. Georgia

reading book in library

Total Score: 47.87

Educational Attainment: 33 

Quality of Education: 22

31. Iowa

beautiful highschooler

Total Score: 48.06

Educational Attainment: 29 

Quality of Education: 29

30. Pennsylvania

Novels for Intermediate Learners

Total Score: 48.78

Educational Attainment: 27 

Quality of Education: 36

29. Alaska

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Total Score: 48.82

Educational Attainment: 19 

Quality of Education: 50

28. California

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Total Score: 49.08

Educational Attainment: 37 

Quality of Education: 8

27. Michigan

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Total Score: 50.41

Educational Attainment: 26 

Quality of Education: 28

26. North Carolina

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Total Score: 51.30

Educational Attainment: 28 

Quality of Education: 13

25. Kansas

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Total Score: 51.39

Educational Attainment: 16 

Quality of Education: 49

24. Wyoming

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Total Score: 51.64

Educational Attainment: 23 

Quality of Education: 30

23. North Dakota

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Total Score: 52.11

Educational Attainment: 22

Quality of Education: 26

22. Nebraska

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Total Score: 52.24

Educational Attainment: 20

Quality of Education: 38

21. Florida

teen working online

Total Score: 53.26

Educational Attainment: 35

Quality of Education: 3

20. Wisconsin 

woman happily reading book

Total Score: 54.52

Educational Attainment: 25

Quality of Education: 10

19. Montana

high schoolers taking test

Total Score: 54.99

Educational Attainment: 13

Quality of Education: 46

18. Maine

teacher happy in class

Total Score: 55.94

Educational Attainment: 15

Quality of Education: 31

17. Hawaii

girl going to school

Total Score: 55.97

Educational Attainment: 14

Quality of Education: 35

16. Illinois

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Total Score: 57.20

Educational Attainment: 17

Quality of Education: 18

15. Oregon

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Total Score: 57.22

Educational Attainment: 12

Quality of Education: 41

14. New York

woman reading from a book

Total Score: 57.25

Educational Attainment: 18

Quality of Education: 14

13. Delaware

middle aged woman reading

Total Score: 58.05

Educational Attainment: 21

Quality of Education: 7

12. Rhode Island

reading book in library

Total Score: 58.61

Educational Attainment: 24

Quality of Education: 5

11. Washington

woman reading books

Total Score: 63.12

Educational Attainment: 9

Quality of Education: 25

10. Utah

girl reading book

Total Score: 63.31

Educational Attainment: 11

Quality of Education: 12

9. Minnesota

blonde teen out and about

Total Score: 63.98

Educational Attainment: 8

Quality of Education: 24

8. New Hampshire

middle schooler smiling

Total Score: 67.20

Educational Attainment: 7

Quality of Education: 11

7. Virginia

man with library book

Total Score: 67.33

Educational Attainment: 5

Quality of Education: 16

6. New Jersey

student in deep thought

Total Score: 68.85

Educational Attainment: 10

Quality of Education: 6

5. Colorado

smart student 1

Total Score: 69.30

Educational Attainment: 2

Quality of Education: 37

4. Vermont

Get Paid to Read Books

Total Score: 71.40

Educational Attainment: 3

Quality of Education: 15

3. Connecticut

Best College Movies

Total Score: 72.06

Educational Attainment: 6

Quality of Education: 4

2. Maryland

intelligent graduate

Total Score: 76.73

Educational Attainment: 4

Quality of Education: 2

1. Massachusetts

highschool graduation

Total Score: 83.03

Educational Attainment: 1

Quality of Education: 1

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Key Takeaways

teen student us flag background

While educational quality varies by state, the most critical factor is an individual’s dedication and perseverance. Success ultimately hinges on the effort and determination one invests in one’s education.

This article was produced and syndicated by TPR Teaching.

Caitriona Maria is an education writer and founder of TPR Teaching, crafting inspiring pieces that promote the importance of developing new skills. For 7 years, she has been committed to providing students with the best learning opportunities possible, both domestically and abroad. Dedicated to unlocking students' potential, Caitriona has taught English in several countries and continues to explore new cultures through her travels.

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