23 States With Low IQ and Happiness Scores

From sea to shining sea, the US is a patchwork of diversity. It’s also true that some states might average a tad lower on the “genius scale.” Each area has unique quirks that make it special, but certain ones might need a bit of a nudge in the intelligence department. With issues ranging from educational deficiencies to health crises, here are the nation’s regions with the lowest IQ and well-being scores.

Alabama’s Educational Hurdles

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In Alabama, educational systems face hurdles that result in lower IQ scores. Factors like funding disparities and lower graduation rates play a role. Economic challenges also affect residents’ well-being, making it hard for many to access quality healthcare and job opportunities.

Mississippi’s Ongoing Struggle

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Mississippi faces significant challenges in education and overall well-being due to its high poverty rates and limited access to healthcare. Economic and social conditions severely impact the quality of life and hinder educational and professional advancement for many residents. The pandemic only made the situation worse.

West Virginia’s Industrial Decline

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The economic landscape in West Virginia has historically been tied to declining industries like coal mining. This volatile economic shift impacts IQ scores through fewer educational opportunities.

Arkansas’ Health and Education

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Arkansas ranks among the bottom five of the least educated regions in the country. This contributes to the state’s struggles with IQ and well-being scores.

Louisiana’s Cultural Richness vs. Educational Struggles

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While rich in culture and history, Louisiana faces significant educational challenges. Environmental issues like coastal erosion and natural disasters affect the state’s well-being, impacting daily life and long-term security. 

Oklahoma’s Tornado Alley Stress

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Oklahoma, located in the heart of “Tornado Alley,” experiences frequent severe weather events. This constant threat impacts residents’ physical well-being and contributes to mental health challenges. Recent cuts in educational funding have adversely affected the state’s educational systems.

Kentucky’s Resource Allocation

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Kentucky struggles to distribute educational resources effectively, especially in its rural areas. This affects the state’s overall IQ scores. Disparities in healthcare services further exacerbate issues, as many rural communities lack adequate medical facilities and professionals.

South Carolina’s Coastal Divide

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South Carolina starkly contrasts affluent coastal areas with impoverished inland regions. Coastal cities like Charleston boast thriving economies, superior educational institutions, and robust healthcare systems, attracting resources and investment. However educational opportunities and healthcare access are limited inland.

Tennessee’s Urban-Rural Divide

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Tennessee’s stark contrast between its bustling urban centers like Nashville and Memphis and its quieter rural areas creates diverse challenges. Urban zones offer a wealth of education, healthcare, and employment opportunities, drawing resources and attention. However rural areas often struggle with limited access to quality educational institutions and healthcare services. Almost 70% of people outside major cities can’t afford medical insurance.

New Mexico’s Diverse Challenges

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New Mexico’s cultural diversity is both a highlight and a complex challenge, especially regarding educational equity. The state’s educational system shows stark differences in performance between districts. Economic fluctuations, particularly in oil and mineral markets, exacerbate educational inconsistencies

Georgia’s Urban vs. Rural Discrepancy

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Georgia starkly contrasts bustling urban centers like Atlanta, which offer robust educational resources, with rural areas, where academic and health services lag. Unsurprisingly, some state areas score low on the IQ and overall well-being scales.

Nevada’s Betting on Education

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In Nevada, particularly in areas dominated by the gaming and entertainment industries, there is a significant emphasis on service-oriented jobs that may not require advanced education. This economic focus can detract from investments in educational resources, impacting the state’s overall IQ and well-being metrics.

Idaho’s Isolated Challenges

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Idaho faces unique challenges due to its rural and isolated communities. Access to healthcare and educational resources is limited, stifling residents’ intellectual growth and well-being. The state’s vast rural areas make it difficult to deliver consistent services, affecting community health and education.

Missouri’s Struggle With Health Disparities

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Missouri’s significant health disparities impact its well-being scores. Rural areas, in particular, face a shortage of healthcare providers, which, coupled with lower educational attainment levels, can negatively affect residents’ quality of life and cognitive development.

Alaska’s Extreme Conditions

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In Alaska, extreme weather conditions and geographic isolation affect IQ scores and well-being. The harsh climate can hinder access to education and healthcare, making daily life challenging and impacting long-term health and educational outcomes.

Hawaii’s Cost of Living

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While known for its paradise-like setting, Hawaii struggles with an extremely high cost of living, which can affect educational and health outcomes. The financial strain of living in such an expensive state can limit access to quality education and healthcare services, impacting residents’ cognitive and overall well-being.

Indiana’s Industrial Evolution

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Indiana has transitioned from a historically manufacturing-heavy economy to more service-oriented industries. This shift impacts the population’s educational needs but hasn’t been met with adequate changes in educational resources, affecting the state’s overall IQ scores.

Ohio’s Rust Belt Recovery

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Ohio, a key state in the Rust Belt, has faced significant economic shifts away from manufacturing, that have impacted the employment and education sectors. These financial challenges affect community well-being and educational opportunities.

Maine’s Aging Population

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Maine has one of the oldest populations in the U.S., which presents unique challenges for maintaining a vibrant educational system and ensuring community well-being. The aging demographic impacts state resources and priorities, often at the expense of investments in new academic initiatives and technologies.

Nebraska’s Quiet Needs

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Nebraska’s quiet struggle with educational funding impacts its well-being and IQ scores. As a predominantly agricultural state, it faces challenges in diversifying education and ensuring that all residents have access to the resources they need for intellectual development.

Arizona’s Educational Gaps

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Arizona faces challenges with significant educational gaps between different socio-economic groups. Funding disparities contribute heavily to these challenges, impacting the quality and accessibility of education in underserved areas. Additionally, Arizona’s rapid population growth has put extra pressure on its educational infrastructure, struggling to keep pace with the demand for resources and qualified teachers.

Florida’s Healthcare Divide

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In Florida, the healthcare divide impacts well-being across the state. Rural areas, in particular, suffer from a shortage of healthcare professionals and facilities. This lack of accessibility contributes to lower overall health outcomes and affects the state’s ability to improve well-being scores.

Michigan’s Economic Fluctuations

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Michigan’s economic fluctuations have had a profound impact on both education and well-being. The auto industry’s decline led to job losses and reduced educational funding. These economic shifts have decreased opportunities and increased poverty rates, making it difficult for many communities to recover and build resilience.

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Lori Meek

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