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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.
Source: American Community Survey, 2011-2015 estimates
Last updated: September 01, 2017
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%
State
19.2
West Virginia
20.7
Mississippi
21.1
Arkansas
22.3
Kentucky
22.5
Louisiana
%
State
23.0
Nevada
23.5
Alabama
24.1
Oklahoma
24.1
Indiana
24.9
Tennessee
+8
level 58
Jan 18, 2016
I could have sworn I'd typed in Louisiana...oh well.
+1
level 26
Dec 31, 2017
Me too. I totally typed in West Virginia!
+1
level 59
May 5, 2016
I literally got every single one except for #1.
+6
level 80
Sep 1, 2017
Yeah, what a difference a "West" makes! Virginia is near the top most-educated states.
+7
level 60
Dec 31, 2017
Make a separate East Virginia to show further contrast.
+1
level 54
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 74
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 69
Sep 1, 2017
Same. Facepalm.
+16
level 71
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 61
Sep 3, 2017
I know, right? :P
+2
level 47
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 61
Sep 3, 2017
I typed like half the states in the country, and got one. ONE!
+7
level 41
Dec 31, 2017
Ever heard of the South lol
+22
level 28
Dec 3, 2017
Just think of red states and you will get 9/10.
+1
level 40
Dec 31, 2017
Never would have guessed Indiana.
+2
level 44
Dec 31, 2017
Thanks Indiana, got 9 out of 10 cause of you...
+10
level 50
Dec 31, 2017
omg what a surprise, republicans
+1
level 47
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.
+3
level 58
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.
+4
level 44
Dec 31, 2017
So the Kansas stereotype of uneducated farmers isn't as true as I thought...
+2
level 57
Dec 31, 2017
yeah, I was surprised about that too. No Kansas or Nebraska!
+1
level 51
Dec 31, 2017
Kansas + Nebraska Conservative + educated. Think prairie home companion and you're close.
+6
level 46
Dec 31, 2017
No surprise that 9/10 are red conservative states.
+3
level 43
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 48
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.
+4
level 58
Jan 2, 2018
Love to see how this correlates with per capita spending on education state by state
+3
level 58
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 47
Jan 15, 2018
Quite possibly the most uneducated comment on here...
+1
level 63
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 57
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 74
Jan 4, 2018
Italy would rank just between Arkansas and Mississippi.
+1
level 58
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 24
Nov 20, 2018
Disappointed that my state (Oklahoma) is on here.
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