rubik's cube

Smartest State in the US in 2023

Discovering the brightest stars that grace the American intellectual firmament is a quest that ignites curiosity. Which states shine the brightest in the pursuit of knowledge? 

Unveiling the exceptional thinkers who call these states home, we peel back the layers to uncover the unique factors that nurture and foster intellect. Prepare to be intrigued as we embark on an illuminating exploration, unraveling the enigma of the smartest states in the nation.

Alabama Alaska Arizona Arkansas California Colorado Connecticut Delaware Florida Georgia Hawaii Idaho Illinois Indiana Iowa Kansas Kentucky Louisiana Maine Maryland Massachusetts Michigan Minnesota Mississippi Missouri Montana Nebraska Nevada New Hampshire New Jersey New Mexico New York North Carolina North Dakota Ohio Oklahoma Oregon Pennsylvania Rhode Island South Carolina South Dakota Tennessee Texas Utah Vermont Virginia West Virginia Wisconsin Wyoming District of Columbia District of Columbia

Average IQ

How to Assess the Intelligence Levels of States

To assess the intelligence of each state, a comprehensive ranking system employs an array of metrics: IQ scores, SAT scores, ACT scores, and the proportion of college graduates within their borders. By calculating the percentage-point variance between a state’s score and the national median, an intelligence score is derived. Positive differentials denote scores surpassing the national median, while negative values indicate scores falling below it. Notably, in the summation process, each state’s IQ value is doubled, amplifying its impact on the final tally. Through this intricate methodology, a distinct perspective emerges, shedding light on the intellectual landscape of each state and illuminating the factors that contribute to their cognitive prowess.

20 States with the Highest IQ Scores

The following are the smartest states with the highest IQ scores in the United States.


Average IQ 

New Hampshire








North Dakota






















New Jersey




South Dakota






IQ as an Intelligence Determining Metric

The Intelligence Quotient (IQ) scores serve as a valuable tool in evaluating the intellectual capabilities of groups and countries.

Rooted in a rich history of psychological research, IQ scores provide a standardized measure of cognitive abilities, offering insights into problem-solving skills, logical reasoning, memory, and overall mental aptitude. By administering a diverse range of tests designed to challenge various aspects of intelligence, these scores strive to capture the multidimensional nature of human intellect. 

While it’s important to acknowledge the limitations of any single metric, IQ scores provide a valuable snapshot of a group’s or country’s cognitive strengths and areas for development. They assist policymakers, educators, and researchers in identifying patterns, making informed decisions, and tailoring interventions to nurture intellectual growth. 

By understanding and embracing the nuanced implications of IQ scores, we can unlock the potential for individual and collective intellectual advancement, fostering a society that celebrates the diverse tapestry of human intelligence.

Key Factors Contributing to High IQ Levels in States

  • Robust education systems fostering cognitive development

  • Access to quality educational resources and opportunities

  • Emphasis on critical thinking and problem-solving skills in the curriculum

  • Supportive and engaging learning environments

  • Culturally rich and intellectually stimulating communities

  • High rates of college graduates and advanced degrees

  • Investment in research and innovation

  • Availability of quality healthcare and early childhood education

  • Socio-economic stability promoting educational attainment

  • Encouragement of lifelong learning and intellectual curiosity

Smartest States: The Wrap-Up

From the intricate web of IQ scores to the multifaceted factors contributing to high IQ scores, we have glimpsed into the diverse landscapes of intellectual prowess across the nation. As we conclude this journey, let us remember that intelligence knows no boundaries or preconceived notions. 

It is a tapestry woven from the unique threads of human potential, shaped by factors as varied as education, environment, and innate abilities. By embracing and nurturing the diverse intellectual gifts present in each state, we can collectively foster a society that values knowledge, critical thinking, and lifelong learning. 

As we celebrate the smartest states, let us strive for a future where intellectual curiosity and innovation thrive, propelling us toward new frontiers of discovery and understanding.


Which are considered the smartest states in America?

The smartest states in America are determined by various factors such as average IQ scores, educational attainment, and cognitive abilities. These factors combine to create an overall index score that showcases the intellectual prowess of each state. In this sense, New Hampshire holds the top spot, whereas Massachusetts is the second smartest state, and is followed Minnesota as the third.

How are average IQ scores used to assess the most intelligent states?

Average IQ scores provide a standardized measure of cognitive abilities within a population. By analyzing these scores across states, we can gain insights into the intellectual landscape and identify regions with higher average IQ levels, often indicating higher cognitive capabilities and problem-solving aptitude.

Do higher levels of educational attainment contribute to the smarter states?

Absolutely! Higher levels of educational attainment, including bachelor's degrees and advanced degrees, tend to be strong indicators of intellectual development and cognitive abilities. Smarter states with a higher percentage of college graduates often exhibit higher average IQ scores and are considered among the smartest states.

What does the "average score" indicate in terms of intelligence?

The "average score" refers to the mean IQ score of a particular group or population. A higher average score signifies that, on average, individuals within that group tend to possess higher cognitive abilities and intellectual capacities.

Which state has the highest average IQ?

New Hampshire has the highest average IQ in the United States, ranking first in the country. While individual IQ scores can vary, certain states consistently rank higher in terms of average IQ. Identifying the specific state with the highest average IQ requires analyzing comprehensive data on cognitive assessments and intelligence tests.

How does the average person in the smartest states fare in terms of intelligence?

In the smartest states, the average person typically demonstrates a higher level of cognitive abilities and intellectual aptitude compared to the national average. Factors such as educational opportunities, a culture of learning, and intellectual stimulation contribute to the overall intellectual development of individuals within these smarter states.

Which states have the lowest average IQs in America?

Some of the states with the lowest average IQs in America are New Mexico, Louisiana, and Mississippi. However, it should be noted that the states with the lowest average IQs can vary based on various factors and data sets. It's important to note that intelligence is a complex construct influenced by multiple factors, and no single measure can fully capture it.

Are there other factors besides IQ that contribute to assessing the smartest states?

Absolutely. While IQ is an important measure of cognitive abilities, it is not the sole determinant of intelligence or the smartest states. Factors such as educational attainment, academic achievement, research output, innovation, and cultural environment also contribute to the overall intellectual landscape of a state.

Are there any intelligent states with record rates of high IQ scores or educational achievements?

Various states boast remarkable rates of high IQ scores and exceptional educational achievements. However, it's crucial to analyze specific data and indicators related to intelligence, academic accomplishments, and cognitive performance to ascertain the intelligent states with record rates in these domains.

How does high school education impact IQ scores and the overall intelligence of residents?

High school education plays a vital role in shaping individuals' cognitive abilities and overall intelligence. It provides a foundation for critical thinking, problem-solving, and knowledge acquisition. However, IQ scores and intelligence are influenced by various factors, including genetics, socio-economic background, and access to educational resources, extending beyond the sole impact of high school education.

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