No. 1 smartest state in America: Minnesota Minnesota is our study's valedictorian primarily because the state came in no lower than fourth place in any measure analyzed in which there were figures for the state available. (There are no statistics for heavy TV watching among Minnesota high schoolers.) The North Star State placed second among the percentage of adults with high school degrees (91.8%), as well as fourth in terms of how many young adults there attend college (80.4%). As noted, Minnesota also tied Iowa for third place on average SAT math scores -- garnering a 606, although just 7% of graduating Minnesotans took the test. Martinez-Aleman isn't surprised the state topped our honor roll. "Minnesota has always had a strong reputation of supporting public education," she says.