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2022 Most & Least Educated States

Scholaroo ventures to discover the most and least educated states across two factors — Educational Attainment and School Quality.

We all know that a well-educated population is a key factor, if not the most important, in driving economic prosperity. After all, a typical American worker with a bachelor’s degree earns on average $26,000 more per year than a worker with just a high school diploma.

One of the biggest challenges to education in the last couple of years has obviously been Covid-19. Our latest data study at Scholaroo set out to find out the most and least educated states in the country during a pandemic, comparing the states across two key indicators: Educational Attainment and School Quality. More on our methodology is below.

Also read: States with Best & Worst Public School Systems

The complete list provides a more comprehensive breakdown of the 19 metrics that were evaluated for the study. Here are some main findings that stood out when analyzing the data to determine which states were more literate than others.

Rankings of Most & Least Educated States

Category Breakdown

Methodology

In order to determine the most and least educated states in America, Scholaroo compared the 50 states across two key dimensions:

  1. Educational Attainment
  2. School Quality

We evaluated those dimensions using 19 relevant metrics, which are listed below with their corresponding weight. Each metric was graded on a 100 point scale, with a score of 100 being the max.

Finally, we determined each state’s weighted average across all metrics to calculate its overall score and used the resulting scores to rank-order our sample.


Educational Attainment (50 points)

Share of High School Graduates: Half Weight (3.13 points)

Note: This metric measures the percentage of the population of ages 16-40+ with a High School Diploma.

Share of College Graduates: Regular Weight (6.25 points)

Note: This metric measures the percentage of adults with a bachelor's degree.

Share of Apprenticeships: Regular Weight (6.25 points)

Note: This metric measures the number of apprenticeships per 100k people.

Share of Partial College Experience: Half Weight (3.13 points)

Note: This metric measures the percentage of adults with partial college experience.

Share of Master Program Graduates: Double Weight (12.50 points)

Note: This metric measures the percentage of the population of adults with a Master’s Degree.

Share of Doctoral Program Graduates: Double Weight (12.50 points)

Note: This metric measures the percentage of the population of adults with a Doctoral or Professional Degree.

Literacy Rate: Half Weight (3.13 points)

Note: This metric measures the percentage of adults who scored a Level 3 or more in the U.S. PIAAC Literacy Proficiency. Adults at this level can understand, interpret, and synthesize information across multiple, complex texts.

Numeracy Rate: Half Weight (3.13 points)

Note: This metric measures the percentage of adults who scored a Level 3 or more in the U.S. PIAAC Numeracy Proficiency. Adults at this level can be considered proficient at working with mathematical information and ideas.

School Quality (50 points)

Best & Worst School Systems: Double Weight (8.33 points)

Note: This metric is based on Scholaroo’s Student Success Ranking.

Share of Top Universities per State: Half Weight (2.08 points)

Note: This metric measures the percentage of presence of Colleges/Universities in the top 600 America’s Top Colleges List by Forbes.

High School Graduation Rate: Regular Weight (4.17 points)

Note: This metric measures the rate of High School graduation.

College Graduation Rate: Regular Weight (4.17 points)

Note: This metric measures the rate of undergrads who graduated within 6 years.

College-Going Rates: Regular Weight (4.17 points)

Note: This metric measures the percentage of High School graduates going directly to College.

Number of Colleges/Universities: Half Weight (2.08 points)

Note: This metric measures the number of Colleges/Universities per 100k adults.

SAT Scores: Double Weight (8.33 points)

Note: This metric measures the average SAT score of High School Seniors.

ACT Scores: Double Weight (8.33 points)

Note: This metric measures the average ACT score of High School Seniors.

AP Exam Scores: Regular Weight (4.17 points)

Note: This metric measures the percentage of students scoring a 3 or higher on an AP exam.

High-School Financial Literacy Grade: Half Weight (2.08 points)

Note: This metric represents the Financial Literacy score of High School students.

Health Literacy: Half Weight (2.08 points)

Note: This metric represents the median in the Health IQ Score.