The 10 Dumbest States In The United States For 2024

The dumbest states in the US are Nevada and Mississippi for 2024 based on Saturday Night Science.

Dumbest States In The US

Americans like to think they’re the best when it comes to just about everything – including smarts.

But these states are dumb.

Where exactly? We used Saturday Night Science to determine the states where the most dummies live.

We created an index of every state that combines the percentage of adults without a high school diploma with those without a college degree.

And if that sounds too smart for you, better stop here.

Table Of Contents: Top Ten | Methodology | Summary | Table

Are we seeing a pattern here? The South isn’t ideal for intelligence.

Also, we’re not saying the people in these states are bad. We’re just making an observation that, as a majority, they’re not the brightest bulbs in the room.

And, interestingly enough, the dumbest cities in the country come from states nowhere near the top ten here.

Related research:

The 10 Dumbest States In The US For 2024

1. Nevada

Nevada|Nv, NV

Source: Wikipedia User | CC BY-SA 3.0

Population: 3,104,817
% Adult High School Dropout: 13.0%
% Highly Educated: 26.0%


Here in Nevada, 14% of people never finished high school, and barely more than 1 in 5 was smart enough to go to college. Maybe that’s because there’s only like 2 colleges in the entire state?

What else is nevada known for? Deserts (stupid), Death Valley (stupid!) and Las Vegas (not so stupid)

Actually, they can’t be that dumb in Nevada. After all, every day tons of stupid people come there and hand them all their money. Maybe we’re the dummies.

Maybe thaaaat’s why all the roads are all straight in Nevada. They cant figure out directions anywhere.

2. Mississippi

Mississippi|Ms, MS

Source: Wikipedia User | CC BY-SA 2.0

Population: 2,958,846
% Adult High School Dropout: 12.0%
% Highly Educated: 25.0%

America’s next dumbest state is Mississippi.

I couldn’t decide, is Mississippi more Patrick or Barney?

Just kidding, Mississippi. You guys are pretty dopey though. Mississippi has the highest number of high school dropouts in America at 11%.

Even the criminals are dumb in Mississippi (home alone)

What’s the deal anyways guys? Mississippi is actually a really pretty place, and the weather isn’t too bad most of the year. There’s a lot to do, and everyone’s really friendly. Maybe they just don’t like sitting in class all day and they’d rather hit the trails or go find a lake somewhere.

They like to hunt, go to church often, and make some really good food.

Maybe we should stop bullying Mississippi. If we’re going to pick on someone, let’s pick on California. They deserve it. (dumb blonde)

3. Arkansas

Arkansas|Ar, AR

Source: Wikipedia User | CC BY-SA 4.0

Population: 3,018,669
% Adult High School Dropout: 12.0%
% Highly Educated: 25.0%

If you wanna see some real blockheads, head on down to the great state of Arkansas.

(blockhead charlie brown)

Considering the fact that only 22% of residents have a college degree and that 10% never finished high school, Arkansas residents could’t get too upset if we thought they were a little….dopey.

Arkansas is home to the mysterious Fouke Monster who has supposedly been seen crawling along the bogs and marshes down there. Sorta like a swamp thing Bigfoot guy. I’ll bet if the fouke monster took a spelling test, he’d get an F.

Arkies as they call themselves, have a tendency to call lunch, dinner and dinner, supper. That’s dumb. But i reckon yaal think thats purty fine though, dontcha?

4. New Mexico

New-Mexico|Nm, NM

Source: Public domain

Population: 2,112,463
% Adult High School Dropout: 13.0%
% Highly Educated: 29.0%

Right next door to the big ole state of Texas, it gets worse. New Mexico is even dumber. While they have a few less high school dropouts than Texas, they have far fewer people who went to college here. It’s like some New Mexicans finished high school and then quit. Quitters!

Actually, New Mexico is home to the Los Alamos National Laboratory, which is home to 11,000 of some of the smartest people in the country. It’s very top secret and they make nuclear weapons and stuff. So maybe we better not mess with em too much. How do these scientists deal with living next to so many dummies? (yuck) When you go to a restaurant in New Mexico, they ask you red or green? That’s it – two choices for chili. If they have New Mexicans any more options, they probably couldn’t handle it.

Other things that make New Mexico dumb – a bunch of their residents think they see UFOs all the time. We know aliens arent real. That’s silly.

5. Alabama

Alabama|Al, AL

Source: Wikipedia User | CC BY-SA 4.0

Population: 5,028,092
% Adult High School Dropout: 12.0%
% Highly Educated: 28.0%

We go back to the south, where we’re pretty much going to stay for the rest of this dopey drive. We start our tour of dumb southern states with Alabama.

After all, Forest Gump was from alabama and he was really stupid.

In Alabama, school definitely isn’t cool. A whopping 1 in 20 people didn’t even 9th grade. Then they grew up and were dummies the rest of their lives.

People like this: Chrissy

There’s one thing people in Alabama really love. College football. You either cheer for Auburn or Alabama. And if you pick Auburn to beat Alabama, you’re even stupider than I thought.

Did you know Alabama is the third poorest state, too? Maybe there’s something to that.

Fried green tomatoes. Who eats that?

Actually, they can’t be that dumb in Alabama, they figured out a way to create an artificial ski resort in the middle of the south. (goofy skiing?) That takes some real brains.

Sure, Alabama is filled with hard working, honest Americans who care about their communities. That’s c o m m u n . forget it.

6. Louisiana

Louisiana|La, LA

Source: Public domain

Population: 4,640,546
% Adult High School Dropout: 12.0%
% Highly Educated: 27.0%

And who’s our runner up for the stupidest state in America? Hello Louisian-uhhh.

1 in 9 people in Louisiana never finished high school, and 1 in 20 never even made it to high school. What about college? 23% of residents have a college degree in the Bayou State, which is the 5th lowest in our great nation.

Louisiana native Bobby Bouche sure was stupid, but at least he helped his team do something. What did the rest of the people in louisiana do that was productive to help win something?

Louisiana tries though. It’s home to the Frog Capital of the world and the duck capital of america. That’s cool.

Famous people from Louisiana include DJ Khaled, Richard Simmons and LIttle Wayne. Any Little Wayne fans out there? No?

7. West Virginia

West-Virginia|Wv, WV

Source: Wikipedia User | CC BY 2.0

Population: 1,792,967
% Adult High School Dropout: 11.0%
% Highly Educated: 23.0%

West Virginia is next up on our list. That’s probably not a surprise to anyone I bet.

There are less people who went to college in West Virginia than anywhere else in the whole country. Only 19% of west virginians earned a college degree.

These guys are probably way smarter than a lot of people in West Virginia (BB).

Of course, we have to be fair, here. West Virginia has given us a lot of things. Pepperoni Rolls, banjos and overalls to name a few.

Let’s look at some West virginia stereotypes. Everyone’s a hillbilly. Cousins get married. There’s no arts and culture. Everyone’s a redneck.

Are these accurate? Let us know in the comments below.

Stupid Girl. All ya had you wasted. All ya had you wasted.

8. Kentucky

Kentucky|Ky, KY

Source: Wikipedia User | CC BY-SA 3.0

Population: 4,502,935
% Adult High School Dropout: 11.0%
% Highly Educated: 27.0%

Next, we take a quick pit stop in Kentucky.

Home to horse racing and bourbon makers, Kentucky is actually a pretty cool place to live. Maybe the folks here just want to live the simple life – and don’t care about getting ahead in life. Maybe we shouldn’t judge them?

Just kidding, let’s judge.

Kentucky gets the top 5 in three categories: number of high school graduates, number of people who never even went to high school, and number of people who went to college.

But we don’t think you really seem to care much about that, do you Kentucky? Kelly Bundy

Kentucky is actually home to two really good universities – Louisville and Kentucky. And only one US president was born in Kentucky – but he might have been our best president ever. That’s Abraham Lincoln you idiot.

9. Texas

Texas|Tx, TX

Source: Wikipedia User | CC BY 3.0

Population: 29,243,342
% Adult High School Dropout: 15.0%
% Highly Educated: 32.0%

Our next stop on our idiotic quest through America takes us to Texas. Hee-Haw!

Texas actually tied with Tennessee in its dumb rankings, but we broke the tie because Texas has the second highest number of people without a high school diploma in the US. 17% of people in Texas never even finished high school.

The only state with more high school dropouts? California. (Kardashians) Yeah, they’re pretty dumb in California, too.

However, we have to point out that Texas is actually in the middle of the pack when it comes to college degree holders. That means there are a lot of really smart people in Texas (show it) and a lot of really dumb people in Texas (goofy).

But, people in Texas gave us barbecue, guns and the Cowboys, so that counts for something right?

Here’s a Texas snowman. That’s pretty clever, right?

These boots are pretty nifty.

And this is incredible! (big truck). Way to go Texas guy. You made a big truck.

10. Tennessee

Tennessee|Tn, TN

Source: Wikipedia User | CC BY-SA 3.0

Population: 6,923,772
% Adult High School Dropout: 11.0%
% Highly Educated: 30.0%

Next on our unintelligent endeavor across America in the state of Tennessee.

While there’s lots of smart people in Tennessee, there are a lot of dumb people, too. In Tennessee, 13% of people never graduated high school, and 5% of people never even finished the 8th grade.

Yeah, we’re talking to you Tennessee guy (Homer).

Additionally, only a quarter of Tennessee residents went to college like this guy did (Ghostbusters guy).

Tennessee has some really smart people in places like Nashville, which is a technology hub in the south, and there are some really presigious universities in the state, too. On the other hand, you have people back in them hollers who haven’t opened a book besides a bible since they were 13.

Does that make them stupid? Technically yes.

How We Calculated The Dumbest States In The United States For 2024

To rank the dumbest States in the USA of A, we used data from the American Community Survey combined with Saturday Night Science.

We started by getting data from the 2018-2022 American Community Survey for every state. We then looked at our criteria:

  • % of the state’s population with less than a high school education (Age 25+)
  • % of state’s population without a college degree (Age 25+)

We ranked each state from 1 to 50, with 1 being the state with the dumbest. As it turns out, the dumbest states in America mostly voted for Trump.

Who woulda guessed?

We updated this report for 2024. This report is our tenth time ranking the dumbest states in America

Summary: The Dumbest States For 2024

If you’re measuring the states in America where there are a low number of college grads and adults without a high school diploma, this is an accurate list.

The dumbest states in the United States are Nevada, Mississippi, Arkansas, New Mexico, Alabama, Louisiana, West Virginia, Kentucky, Texas, and Tennessee.

The smarest states in the United States are Vermont, New Hampshire, Minnesota, Utah, Colorado, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Montana, Maryland, and Maine.

For more reading, check out:

Dumbest States In The US For 2024

Rank State Population % Adult High School Dropout % Highly Educated:
1 Nevada 3,104,817 13.0% 26.0%
2 Mississippi 2,958,846 12.0% 25.0%
3 Arkansas 3,018,669 12.0% 25.0%
4 New Mexico 2,112,463 13.0% 29.0%
5 Alabama 5,028,092 12.0% 28.0%
6 Louisiana 4,640,546 12.0% 27.0%
7 West Virginia 1,792,967 11.0% 23.0%
8 Kentucky 4,502,935 11.0% 27.0%
9 Texas 29,243,342 15.0% 32.0%
10 Tennessee 6,923,772 11.0% 30.0%
11 Oklahoma 3,970,497 10.0% 28.0%
12 Florida 21,634,529 12.0% 31.0%
13 Indiana 6,784,403 9.0% 29.0%
14 North Carolina 10,470,214 12.0% 33.0%
15 South Carolina 5,142,750 11.0% 31.0%
16 Arizona 7,172,282 11.0% 32.0%
17 California 39,356,104 16.0% 36.0%
18 Georgia 10,722,325 12.0% 33.0%
19 Idaho 1,854,109 9.0% 30.0%
20 Missouri 6,154,422 10.0% 31.0%
21 Rhode Island 1,094,250 12.0% 35.0%
22 New York 19,994,379 12.0% 39.0%
23 Ohio 11,774,683 8.0% 31.0%
24 Michigan 10,057,921 8.0% 31.0%
25 Nebraska 1,958,939 9.0% 33.0%
26 Alaska 734,821 7.0% 30.0%
27 Wyoming 577,929 6.0% 29.0%
28 Oregon 4,229,374 10.0% 35.0%
29 Iowa 3,188,836 7.0% 30.0%
30 Illinois 12,757,634 11.0% 36.0%
31 North Dakota 776,874 7.0% 31.0%
32 South Dakota 890,342 7.0% 31.0%
33 Delaware 993,635 8.0% 35.0%
34 Wisconsin 5,882,128 7.0% 32.0%
35 Hawaii 1,450,589 8.0% 34.0%
36 Virginia 8,624,511 9.0% 41.0%
37 Pennsylvania 12,989,208 7.0% 34.0%
38 Kansas 2,935,922 7.0% 35.0%
39 Washington 7,688,549 8.0% 38.0%
40 New Jersey 9,249,063 9.0% 42.0%
41 Maine 1,366,949 6.0% 34.0%
42 Maryland 6,161,707 9.0% 42.0%
43 Montana 1,091,840 5.0% 34.0%
44 Massachusetts 6,984,205 8.0% 46.0%
45 Connecticut 3,611,317 8.0% 42.0%
46 Colorado 5,770,790 8.0% 44.0%
47 Utah 3,283,809 5.0% 37.0%
48 Minnesota 5,695,292 6.0% 38.0%
49 New Hampshire 1,379,610 5.0% 40.0%
50 Vermont 643,816 5.0% 42.0%

Dumbest Places By State

About Nick Johnson

Nick Johnson earned his masters in Business Administration from the Drucker School At Claremont Graduate University. He has written for 39 publications across the country and ran the media relations department at Movoto, a real estate portal based in San Francisco. He has been featured in over 500 publications as an expert in real estate and as an authority on real estate trends.

Nick's the creator of the HomeSnacks YouTube channel that now has over 260,000 subscribers and is an excellent source to learn about different parts of the country.

11 thoughts on “The 10 Dumbest States In The United States For 2024

  1. Yes. Kudos to those states which are most populated with high school students who can regurgitate information. Excellent. In seeing how many times this information (erroneously extrapolating IQ’s from SAT score) has been used to create click-bait “articles” on various low-brow, left-leaning gossip websites, I too am seeing a trend. And you say, “Who woulda guessed?”

  2. You say it’s a list of the dumbest cities, then proceed to list 10 states.. what state is the author of this article from, I wonder?

  3. These guys couldn’t figure out the difference between a city and state, but still decided to weigh in anyway. Cool.

  4. So funny. Only a total ignoramus would equate education level with intelligence. This is elitist condescension at it’s worst. Using education level as the sole criterion for making this evaluation shows the simplistic thinking of the imbecile who authored this report (as well as the fact that they don’t know the difference between a city and a state and don’t understand the concept of proof reading – duh). Failing to take into account things like average age is a critical mistake. Pennsylvania for example, has the second oldest population of any state. We know that higher education levels have increased over time. With more seniors compared to other states, wouldn’t PA be expected to have have a lower ranking using only the authors metric? Poverty also comes into play. In those southern states, there are plenty of intelligent people that simply cannot afford higher education and state resources to help them are nil. Although I detest Mr Trump, equating people voting for him with stupidity is a sign of intellectual immaturity on the part of the author. It sure seems like a lot of Wharton School and Harvard Business grads voted for him for their own selfish reasons, so insisting that everyone who voted for him is stupid is on it’s face, stupid. So, to the editor of the site, try to elevate your presentations, hire smarter people and stop adding to the dearth of garbage on the internet. Thanks

  5. Whether someone graduates from college depends upon whether they had the money to finish college, not just their intelligence. However, if you look at the statistics for percentage of high school graduates, the lowest eight or so states are about the same. High school dropouts are not going to be taking SAT tests.

  6. No surprises here. Now check the list of the most racist states and the least heathy states. These questions, as you can guess, will produce a virtual mirror image.

  7. I hate to break your bubble but UFOs are real, also exterestrials
    I know because I am an EXPERIENCER and educated in England and live in Texas. I HAVE PHOTOS AND HAVE SHOWN THEM ON you are the dumb one. Just watch

  8. And yet in over 45 years in the workforce and meeting all kinds of people with all kinds of educational background, I have to say some of the dumbest people out there are college graduates. No common sense, no imagination, no work ethic. So this is a really stupid criteria to rate dumbest states.

  9. I am from Kentucky, I can attest to the fact that the people here are so ignorant and dumb, most of them think hating others is a good thing. I left when I was 21 and moved to California, moving back to KY was emotional suicide, I should have stayed on the west cost. I am moving to Massachusetts soon. The people in Kentucky are deeply racist, horrifically fat, grossly tattooed, severely uneducated, emotionally stunted, mentally inbred, and the majority live in poverty. If you drive through, don’t stop, just keep going until you are in the clear and another state.

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