Careers

The 10 most and least educated states in 2018

Harvard Business School graduation. Massachusetts ranks No. 1 in the U.S. for Education.
Rick Friedman/Corbis | Getty Images
Harvard Business School graduation. Massachusetts ranks No. 1 in the U.S. for Education.

Though contrarianmillionaires may tell you otherwise, education is still the best way to increase your earning potential, decrease your chances of unemployment and meet your career goals.

The Georgetown Center on Education and the Workforce calculates that a bachelor's degree is worth $2.8 million over a lifetime and researchers at the London School of Economics have found that going to college can even increase your life expectancy by a decade.

However, education levels still vary significantly across the U.S. WalletHub compared all 50 states across 15 different metrics in order to calculate which were the most and least educated states in the country. They considered statistics about the educational attainment of adults over the age of 24, the quality of local education and the racial and gender education gaps.

Check out the 10 most educated states in the country:

Source: WalletHub

10. New Jersey

Total score: 64.60

9. Washington

Total score: 64.86

8. Minnesota

Total score: 66.28

7. New Hampshire

Total score: 68.28

6. Virginia

Total score: 69.37

5. Colorado

Total score: 70.17

4. Vermont

Total score: 71.14

3. Connecticut

Total score: 71.90

2. Maryland

Total score: 76.54

1. Massachusetts

Total score: 81.92

Harvard Business School
Brooks Kraft LLC/Corbis | Getty Images
Harvard Business School

Check out the 10 least educated states in the country

41. New Mexico

Total score: 36.11

42. Oklahoma

Total score: 35.58

43. Tennessee

Total score: 35.52

44. Nevada

Total score: 32.84

45. Kentucky

Total score: 31.80

46. Alabama

Total score: 31.33

47. Arkansas

Total score: 27.18

48. Louisiana

Total score: 22.96

49. West Virginia

Total score: 21.71

50. Mississippi

Total score: 21.06

Source: WalletHub

Massachusetts topped WalletHub's list of most educated states. The state is home of prestigious schools like Harvard University, MIT and Wellesley College and boasts the highest percentage of bachelor's degree holders, the highest percentage of graduate degree holders and was found to have the highest average university quality.

Mississippi, West Virginia and Louisiana were ranked last on WalletHub's list. All three of these states were in the bottom five states for bachelor's degrees and graduate degrees.

Cinda Klickna, President of the Illinois Education Association says that educational attainment can have a huge impact on local communities. "Education attainment drives a strong economy," she says. "Every community can attract and retain quality workers, build an economic engine and increase productivity, but these all rely on a strong focus on education."

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