Here Are The 14 American States With The Lowest IQ

IQ varies across states and is influenced by factors such as education, socioeconomic status, and access to resources. In 2022, a researcher named Bryan J Pesta from Cleveland State University published a wholesome report on the IQ and well-being scores of all 50 American states.

According to his findings, the average IQ of American states is 100, with a 15% deviation. States like Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Minnesota, Vermont, etc., scored above 100 and were among the highest-scoring states. Sadly, a number of states scored below the average. Here, we list the states in America with the lowest IQ, shedding light on potential contributors to their standings.

New Mexico

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Average IQ: 95.0

New Mexico contends with educational disparities stemming from socioeconomic factors. The diverse population of different ethnic groups has varying access to basic resources. This state also has the highest poverty rate of 17.6% in the entire country. Limited investment in early childhood education and high poverty rates impede cognitive development within the state. All these factors significantly contribute to New Mexico’s lower IQ score.


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Average IQ: 95.2

Louisiana is known for its vibrant culture, rich history, and unique cuisine, including Creole and Cajun influences. However, the state also faces challenges such as socioeconomic disparities and cultural factors that may impact educational outcomes. According to a survey, Louisiana has the fifth lowest literacy rate in the country. These factors can contribute to a lower average IQ score.


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Average IQ: 95.8

Mississippi is renowned for its rich musical heritage, particularly in blues and gospel music, as well as its literary history, with authors like William Faulkner hailing from the state. However, the state struggles with one of the lowest educational attainment levels in the nation. In 2020, 447,921 adults in the state left college without obtaining a degree. This educational lack stems from systemic challenges such as inadequate funding and a lack of emphasis on early childhood education, contributing to lower IQ scores among its populace.


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Average IQ: 96.4

Alabama played a pivotal role in the civil rights movement, and it is famous for its contributions to American music genres such as jazz, blues, and country. However, like many Southern states, Alabama faces socioeconomic challenges, including poverty and disparities in access to quality education. These factors, along with various cultural influences, contribute to its lower average IQ score.


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Average IQ: 96.6

Nevada is one of the most vibrant states in America, known for its stunning natural landscapes and the entertainment scene in Las Vegas. However, the state faces significant socioeconomic disparity. This is partly due to its transient population and high-poverty areas. Studies show that Nevada’s educational system also struggles with several issues including lack of resources and a shortage of teachers. All these hinder effective learning experience. Despite its vibrancy, these challenges impact many residents.


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Average IQ: 97.1

While California is home to prestigious educational institutions and a diverse economy, it also grapples with significant socioeconomic disparities, high living costs, and cultural diversity. Additionally, there is limited access to quality education and huge linguistic diversity. These factors can impact educational outcomes and contribute to California’s poor average IQ scores.


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Average IQ: 97.1

Much of Arkansas’s population resides in rural areas with scarce educational resources. According to a recent study, Arkansas ranks 47th among all American states in terms of educational attainment. Limited investment in education perpetuates the cycle of low IQ, impeding the state’s overall cognitive advancement.

West Virginia

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Average IQ: 97.2

West Virginia is known for its stunning Appalachian landscapes and cultures, as well as its rich coal mining history. However, the state faces challenges like high poverty rates, limited access to quality education in rural areas, and economic struggles. In recent years, West Virginia saw a major increase in child poverty, making it the state with the second-highest child poverty rate. These factors may contribute to the state’s lower average IQ score.


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Average IQ: 97.4

Despite its diverse culture and thriving economy, Texas does not score well in terms of average IQ. The state of iconic symbols like the Alamo and cowboy cultures also faces various socioeconomic challenges. Disparities in education and healthcare access and factors such as poverty can influence educational outcomes and contribute to variations in IQ scores. Plus, the limited resources in certain communities and cultural differences can also lead to varying degrees of IQ.

South Carolina

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Average IQ: 97.8

South Carolina’s IQ scores may be influenced by various factors like socioeconomic disparities, educational challenges, and cultural influences. The state faces high poverty rates, especially in rural areas, which affect access to quality education and resources. Historical factors such as segregation and systemic inequalities also play a role. These issues continue to impact educational outcomes. Together, these challenges contribute to the state’s lower IQ scores. Addressing these problems is crucial for improving education and opportunities in South Carolina.


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Average IQ: 98.1

Georgia has a rich history, southern hospitality, and a vibrant cultural scene. Unfortunately, the state deals with socioeconomic disparities, limited access to quality education in certain areas, and cultural influences that can impact educational outcomes.


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Average IQ: 98.2

Oklahoma’s poor IQ score may be attributed to historical factors such as systemic inequalities and the impact of historical events like the Dust Bowl. The forced relocation of Native American tribes may have continued to affect educational outcomes in the state. Disparities in resources and unequal access to education are other probable causes for the lower IQ score.


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Average IQ: 98.3

Tennessee faces funding disparities between urban and rural schools, resulting in disparate educational outcomes. Moreover, socioeconomic factors such as poverty and limited access to health care contribute to lower IQ scores among its residents.


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Average IQ: 98.3

Arizona is the land of stunning desert landscapes, including the Grand Canyon. Its diverse population demography includes more than 20 indigenous tribes. Sadly, the state does not have an equal proportion of educational resources. The state ranks 32nd on the U.S. News & World Report’s annual Best State Ranking. The lower overall ranks reflect the state’s poor IQ.

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