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The United States' dumbest states in 2014

West Virginia state seal
West Virginia state seal

The 10 dumbest states in the United States list has been released by The Street which explains its methodology for determining the rank order of states by examining the states’ levels of education a certain percentage of the residents of each state has acquired. According to the report, the importance of an education is growing in terms of the amount of money a person can expect to make during his or her lifetime. The assertion regarding education in relation to income is compelling.

According to, an informational website with such statistics, a person with a Bachelor of Arts degree makes some 60 percent more money than a person with a high school diploma. In the comparison, a man who earns a BA makes $64,000 on the average while a man who earns just a high school diploma earns $40,000 on the average. Unfortunately, the same is not the same for women, however. A woman with a BA makes 56.6 percent more than her counterpart with less education. In that comparison, a woman with a BA earns $47,000 annually on the average while a woman with less education makes $30,000.

With both genders, however, it is clear to see the monetary advantage of having a degree in these times. Again, as time goes on, it is more important to have a degree. By comparison, 20 years ago a man who graduated from college made 47.5 percent more than a person with only a high school diploma while a woman BA earner made 53 percent more.

The list, at its core, names the states that have the lowest percentage of its population with college degrees. Such factors as the number of schools is not taken into account. In fact, having fewer schools within a state’s boundaries does not tend to impact the state’s ranking on this list.

The 10 Dumbest States in the United States

  1. West Virginia
  2. Arkansas
  3. Mississippi
  4. Kentucky
  5. Louisiana
  6. Nevada
  7. Alabama
  8. Indiana
  9. Oklahoma
  10. Tennessee

The United States' Smartest States

Other publications list the smartest and dumbest states in the union. The Street has a clear and accepted methodology for giving such labels. Comparing the total population of a state to the number of people with degrees is a clear concept to understand, to prove, and to accept.