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Top 10 Least-Educated U.S. States

Name the states where the lowest percentage of people over 25 have a four year college degree.
For the year 2018, according to the U.S. Census
Quiz by nonono
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First submittedNovember 5, 2015
Last updatedSeptember 26, 2019
Times taken15,194
Rating4.08
1:30
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%
State
21.3
West Virginia
23.2
Mississippi
23.3
Arkansas
24.3
Louisiana
24.8
Kentucky
%
State
24.9
Nevada
25.5
Alabama
25.6
Oklahoma
26.9
Wyoming
27.1
Indiana
+9
level 58
Jan 18, 2016
I could have sworn I'd typed in Louisiana...oh well.
+2
level 28
Dec 31, 2017
Me too. I totally typed in West Virginia!
+9
level 39
Dec 17, 2018
Isn't it funny how all these seem to be Republican states?
+2
level 61
May 5, 2016
I literally got every single one except for #1.
+8
level 83
Sep 1, 2017
Yeah, what a difference a "West" makes! Virginia is near the top most-educated states.
+11
level 59
Dec 31, 2017
Make a separate East Virginia to show further contrast.
+3
level 58
Jan 1, 2018
Yeah, because a bundle of federal civil servants, politicians and lobbyists live in Virginia. They let West Virginia swim for itself.
+1
level 60
Jan 2, 2018
West Virginia broke away from Virginia in 1863 over the Civil War and slavery--the mostly mountainous counties in WV had no use for a slave economy and wanted to remain part of the Union.
+1
level 77
Jan 4, 2018
The biggest geographical contrast in Virginia is between Northern Virginia (the DC suburbs) and the rest of the state. Though politically this area is similar to Richmond and the Virginia Beach area.
+1
level 72
Sep 1, 2017
Same. Facepalm.
+19
level 73
Sep 1, 2017
As the line from Casablanca says: "line up the usual suspects". Solid red states except for one purple-ish (Nevada).
+2
level 66
Sep 3, 2017
I know, right? :P
+2
level 46
Jan 15, 2018
As Dwight from The Office would say: false. Red has nothing to do with it. Most of these states are red, but most red states are not uneducated. There isn't a single East Coast state or Midwestern state in this list, to illustrate my point, even though the East Coast is generally more and more red the further south you go, and the Midwest is almost entirely red. There isn't a significant difference between the education level of the average New Yorker, for example, than the average North Carolinian or Georgian. The Southern states that were the most devastated by the Civil War have never fully recovered economically, and it's this lack of wealth that has led to a dearth in education (I'm from VA, btw)
+2
level 60
Jan 10, 2019
What? Indiana is on the list. Most Midwestern states are either blue or swing states with the exception of, wait for it, Indiana. The only state on this list that didn't vote for Trump is Nevada. Per the same study, here's a list of the 10 most educated states by % w/bachelor's degree. Guess which way they voted: 10. Minnesota 9. New York 8. New Hampshire 7. Vermont 6. Virginia 5. New Jersey 4. Connecticut 3. Maryland 2. Colorado 1. Massachusetts. South Carolina, an East Coast state, ranks 39th. Wyoming, a deep red state in the West, ranks 40th; just outside of this bottom 10 list. New York is 9th, Georgia is 24th, NC is 26th. Of the 20 best educated states by this measure, 3 voted for Trump - Kansas at 16, Utah at 15, and Texas at 20th. Of the 20 least educated, only 2 (Nevada and New Mexico, which had large populations turned off by his racism) did not vote for Trump. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_U.S._states_by_educational_attainment
+1
level 59
Jan 25, 2019
Still recovering from the Civil War? Are you serious?
+1
level 46
Mar 5, 2019
Indiana wasn't on the list when I made the comment. Must have been updated since then. And no, you're wrong about Midwestern states not voting for Trump. He actually carried the majority of Midwestern states by a considerable margin. It is true that blue-collar non-union workers tend to vote Republican. Union members on the other hand tend to vote Democrat. West Virginia, the least educated state in the US, has always been a solid blue state until recently, because of coal miners' unions. When Hillary was ignorant and out-of-touch enough to actually go to WV and say "We're going to bankrupt the coal industry!" during her campaign, you can see why they ended up voting for Trump even though a lot of them voted for Obama. Remember that a significant number of Obama voters (9.2% according to a study by the Democracy Fund Voter Study Group) voted for Trump in 2016. According to the same study, a total of around 13% of Trump voters had voted for Obama in 2012.
+1
level 46
Mar 5, 2019
Here. Please use facts next time instead of ignorant, uneducated stereotypes ;) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Obama-Trump_voters https://www.politico.com/2016-election/results/map/president/
+2
level 66
Sep 3, 2017
I typed like half the states in the country, and got one. ONE!
+8
level 43
Dec 31, 2017
Ever heard of the South lol
+24
level 29
Dec 3, 2017
Just think of red states and you will get 9/10.
+1
level 43
Dec 31, 2017
Never would have guessed Indiana.
+2
level 45
Dec 31, 2017
Thanks Indiana, got 9 out of 10 cause of you...
+13
level 53
Dec 31, 2017
omg what a surprise, republicans
+1
level 46
Jan 15, 2018
Except that West Virginia, the most uneducated state in the country, has been solid blue for the last 50 years or so.
+6
level 62
Jan 17, 2018
Where did you get that information from? West Virginia has been a stronghold for Republican presidential candidates since the 2000 Presidential elections. All of West Virginia's house members, as well as the State Governor, are Republicans.
+1
level 46
Mar 5, 2019
Here. Political issues are almost always more nuanced than either side wants to admit. https://www.270towin.com/states/West_Virginia
+4
level 44
Dec 31, 2017
So the Kansas stereotype of uneducated farmers isn't as true as I thought...
+2
level 59
Dec 31, 2017
yeah, I was surprised about that too. No Kansas or Nebraska!
+1
level 34
Jun 25, 2019
Remember, a pretty decent percentage of Kansas' population is in Wichita or the Kansas City metro- both areas with pretty high education levels. In Nebraska, a little over a third of the population is in the Omaha metro area, and a decent chunk is also in the Lincoln area. While both of these states are very rural in terms of space, the people are highly concentrated. Alaska (where the overwhelming majority of people are in the Anchorage area), Idaho (where most people are in the Boise area), and Nevada (literally 2/3's of the state is in the county with Las Vegas) are in a similar boat.
+1
level 53
Dec 31, 2017
Kansas + Nebraska Conservative + educated. Think prairie home companion and you're close.
+7
level 51
Dec 31, 2017
No surprise that 9/10 are red conservative states.
+3
level 45
Jan 1, 2018
It's the other way around... It's people in the areas left behind, often through no fault of their own, that are more susceptible to the Republican ideology.
+1
level 50
Jan 2, 2018
I just started typing the stereotypical states where the population is generally disadvantaged. There was an article about Mississippi on the BBC newssite just this week, so that was my first guess.
+1
level 34
Jun 25, 2019
And most of the southern states were solidly democratic at the state government level until 2010! Kentucky, until 2016, had the only county in the country that had never voted republican until Trump came along (and no, it is not the county with Louisville or Lexington), and was the last southern state with a Democratic state house. Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, West Virginia and Arkansas are among the most ancestorly (sp?) Democratic states in the country.
+6
level 59
Jan 2, 2018
Love to see how this correlates with per capita spending on education state by state
+5
level 63
Jan 2, 2018
I'm sure it's entirely coincidence that these also happen to be mainly the country's most religious states as well. Total coincidence.
+1
level 34
Jan 2, 2018
Pretty sure the Duggars are the reason Arkansas is on the list. They have like 400 kids and none of them go to school.
+1
level 46
Jan 15, 2018
Quite possibly the most uneducated comment on here...
+1
level 67
Jan 3, 2018
I think it says something about the gentrification of college campuses that my home state of Indiana is internationally very well-known for its colleges (IU, Purdue, Notre Dame, etc.), yet relatively few of those degrees actually go to Hoosiers. Either that, or in-state students move away once they get a degree, which in that case I wouldn't blame them, LOL.
+2
level 61
Jan 7, 2018
One of my coworkers (in Chicago) is from Indiana, and he always says Indiana is a "come-from" state, not a "go-to" state.
+1
level 77
Jan 4, 2018
Italy would rank just between Arkansas and Mississippi.
+2
level 60
Nov 15, 2018
Amazing to the amount of correlation people will try to apply as causation in this site's comments. Often it more conforms to their information bias.
+1
level 46
Mar 5, 2019
Exactly. I tried to refute it, but there's too many of them!
+1
level 80
Apr 4, 2019
Valiant effort though!
+1
level 53
May 9, 2019
Well you sure proved everybody wrong with your comment.
+1
level 45
Nov 20, 2018
Disappointed that my state (Oklahoma) is on here.
+1
level ∞
Sep 26, 2019
The numbers have crept up a bit since the last iteration of this quiz. Personally, I'm not of the opinion that college education is an unalloyed good. If current trends continue, nearly everyone will have a college degree, yet the average person will be just as ignorant. Standards are already shockingly low, even at top universities. And of course the cost is ludicrous.