This Day On The Street
Continue to site
ADVERTISEMENT
This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here

5 Smartest States in America

BOSTON ( TheStreet) -- If you're looking to find America's smartest people, go west, young man -- or at least go Midwest.

An analysis of several key educational measures shows Minnesota and some other Midwest states beat the rest of America when it comes to academic excellence.

"There's a wide variety of educational achievement between states," Boston College education professor Ana Martinez-Aleman says. "Places like Minnesota have very strong, populist traditions about the importance of education."

We recently looked at four factors -- SAT math scores, percentage of citizens with high school diplomas, how many young people attend college and how many high schoolers watch too much TV -- to assess each state's academic-achievement level.

Our research uncovered huge differences between states.

For instance, 19.3% of residents in both Texas and California lack high school educations -- nearly triple Wyoming's 7.7% dropout rate.

Similarly, less than 17% of Utah high schoolers watch three hours of TV or more per night -- roughly a third of Mississippi's 44.9% rate.

Martinez-Aleman, who also serves as editor of the scholarly publication Educational Policy Journal, attributes many of the differences to how much money each state spends on public education.

"There's a cause-and-effect relationship between educational spending and educational achievement," she says.

The expert says states such as Minnesota have long prided themselves on funding public schools generously, while southern states that fared poorly in our analysis often have lower taxes and limited academic spending.

Martinez-Aleman adds that Mountain states -- which generally ranked highly in our analysis -- can spend fairly large amounts of money per student because they have sparse populations.

Here's a look at the five states that came out on top of our analysis, which used the most-recent data available from The College Board and Educational Policy Journal's sister company, CQ Press.

We ranked states based on an average of where they placed among all 50 states and the District of Columbia on the four metrics analyzed. (Nine states and D.C. lacked data on TV watching by high schoolers, so we rated them based on their average scores for the three other criteria studied.)

All Scholastic Aptitude Test scores are from this year, while the percentage of students taking the SAT is based on average figures calculated by The College Board for 2002, last year and this year.

Percentage figures for people in each state lacking high school or general-equivalency degrees are as of 2010 and refer to residents 25 or older, while college enrollment rates for each state's young people are as of 2008. Television-watching statistics are as of 2009.

1 of 6

Check Out Our Best Services for Investors

Action Alerts PLUS

Portfolio Manager Jim Cramer and Director of Research Jack Mohr reveal their investment tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
Quant Ratings

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
Stocks Under $10

David Peltier uncovers low dollar stocks with serious upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
14-Days Free
Only $9.95
14-Days Free
Dividend Stock Advisor

David Peltier identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Trifecta Stocks

Every recommendation goes through 3 layers of intense scrutiny—quantitative, fundamental and technical analysis—to maximize profit potential and minimize risk.

Product Features:
  • Model Portfolio
  • Intra Day Trade alerts
  • Access to Quant Ratings
Options Profits

Our options trading pros provide over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.

Product Features:
  • Actionable options commentary and news
  • Real-time trading community
SYM TRADE IT LAST %CHG
AAPL $131.23 -0.42%
FB $79.48 -0.83%
GOOG $534.50 -0.98%
TSLA $250.17 -0.51%
YHOO $43.00 -0.16%

Markets

DOW 18,052.22 -73.90 -0.41%
S&P 500 2,111.58 -9.21 -0.43%
NASDAQ 5,081.8990 -16.0770 -0.32%

Partners Compare Online Brokers

Free Reports

Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs