Arizona Named 10th Stupidest State in Nation

Donald Trump at CPAC 2011 in Washington, D.C.
Donald Trump at CPAC 2011 in Washington, D.C.

It seems all those years on the bottom of the education-funding heap are finally paying off: Arizona now is the 10th stupidest state in the country.

This flattering fact is brought to you by Donald Trump, who, after discovering Iowa polls showed Ben Carson had nearly tied him in the race to secure the Republican presidential nomination, asked, “How stupid are the people of Iowa?” (The latest polls put Carson in the lead in Arizona.)

Washington Post reporter Philip Bump immediately set out to answer the question for The Donald by calculating “intelligence scores” for every state based on college graduation rates, and IQ, SAT, and ACT scores. 

The exercise didn’t reflect well on Trump, of course, because there actually is no correlation between a state’s preference for Ben Carson and the intellect of its people. (Surprise!) But it turned out great for Iowa, which, it turns out, is the eighth-smartest state in the country. (Massachusetts was first, but even we dumb Arizonans could have guessed that.)

Arizona performed below average on all the metrics, but did worst on the ACTs, for which it was ranked 44th. The state ranked 43rd for IQ, 36th for percentage of college graduates, and 25th for SAT scores.

Sadly, this is the first year Bump has conducted the analysis — so there's no way to know whether Arizona's been slipping or climbing. 

Here's the rest of the bottom 10:

42) North Carolina
43) Louisiana
44) West Virginia
45) South Carolina
46) Florida
47) Alabama
48) Mississippi
49) Nevada
50) Hawaii

And the top:

1) Massachusetts
2) Minnesota
3) New Hampshire
4) Connecticut
5) Wisconsin
6) Kansas
7) Vermont
8) Iowa
9) New Jersey
10) Colorado

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