IQ By State In The United States For 2023

These states have the highest and lowest IQs in all of the USA.

Average IQ by state research summary. Using a paper from the Department of Management at Cleveland State University, we identified the states with the highest IQ. IQ is standardized to standard distribution, with an average IQ being 100 with a standard deviation of 15. That means that 95% of the population will have an IQ between 70 and 130. Here are the results for the average IQ by state in the United States:

  • The state with the highest IQ is New Hampshire, with an average IQ of 103.2.

  • The state with the lowest IQ is New Mexico, with an average IQ of 95.0.

  • The average IQ in the United States is 100, with 95% of people falling between 70 and 130.

  • The difference between the state with the highest IQ and the state with the lowest IQ is 8.2.

Average IQ By State In The United States

Click to enlarge

IQ By State Map Rank

Ranking Of States By IQ In The United States

Click to enlarge

The concept of Intelligence Quotient, or IQ, has long played a significant role in understanding cognitive abilities and potential. This numerical measurement has historically been utilized in the United States to gauge intellectual aptitude, assess educational outcomes, and inform policy decisions. Through a straightforward analysis of IQ scores across different states, this article delves into the historical utilization of IQ in America, shedding light on its implications and trends.

In this case, we ranked the states from highest to lowest in IQ.

What Is IQ?

IQ, or Intelligence Quotient, is a standardized numerical measure to assess a person’s cognitive abilities and intellectual potential. It is typically derived from a series of standardized tests designed to evaluate various aspects of intelligence, including logical reasoning, problem-solving skills, memory, and linguistic aptitude.

10 States With The Highest IQ

The further north you go in the country, the higher your IQ. The highest IQs can be found in the Northeast, in places like Massachusetts, Vermont, and New Hampshire. IQs also seem above average in the Midwest, North Dakota, and Minnesota.

  1. New Hampshire – 103.2 IQ
  2. Massachusetts – 103.1 IQ
  3. Minnesota – 102.9 IQ
  4. Vermont – 102.2 IQ
  5. North Dakota – 101.7 IQ
  6. Wyoming – 101.7 IQ
  7. Washington – 101.5 IQ
  8. Utah – 101.5 IQ
  9. Virginia – 101.2 IQ
  10. Nebraska – 101.2 IQ

10 States With The Lowest IQ

There’s almost an invisible dividing line in the U.S. between the North and the South, with Southern states having lower IQs. States like Louisiana and Mississippi have among the lowest IQs in the country. Surprisingly, states like California and Hawaii, traditionally very educated, also have low IQs relative to the rest of the country.

  1. New Mexico – 95.0 IQ
  2. Louisiana – 95.2 IQ
  3. Mississippi – 95.8 IQ
  4. Alabama – 96.4 IQ
  5. Nevada – 96.6 IQ
  6. California – 97.1 IQ
  7. Arkansas – 97.1 IQ
  8. West Virginia – 97.2 IQ
  9. Texas – 97.4 IQ
  10. South Carolina – 97.8 IQ

IQ Rank By US State

Rank State IQ
1 New Hampshire 103.2
2 Massachusetts 103.1
3 Minnesota 102.9
4 Vermont 102.2
5 North Dakota 101.7
6 Wyoming 101.7
7 Washington 101.5
8 Utah 101.5
9 Virginia 101.2
10 Nebraska 101.2
11 Connecticut 101.2
12 Wisconsin 101.2
13 Colorado 101.1
14 Iowa 101.1
15 Montana 101.1
16 New Jersey 101.0
17 Maine 100.9
18 South Dakota 100.7
19 Indiana 100.6
20 Idaho 100.5
21 Kansas 100.5
22 Oregon 100.3
23 Pennsylvania 100.2
24 Ohio 100.0
25 Maryland 100.0
26 Michigan 99.6
27 Missouri 99.5
28 North Carolina 99.5
29 Alaska 99.4
30 Rhode Island 99.4
31 Illinois 99.4
32 Hawaii 99.2
33 Kentucky 98.8
34 Florida 98.8
35 Delaware 98.7
36 New York 98.4
37 Arizona 98.3
38 Tennessee 98.3
39 Oklahoma 98.2
40 Georgia 98.1
41 South Carolina 97.8
42 Texas 97.4
43 West Virginia 97.2
44 Arkansas 97.1
45 California 97.1
46 Nevada 96.6
47 Alabama 96.4
48 Mississippi 95.8
49 Louisiana 95.2
50 New Mexico 95.0

Methodology: How We Determined The IQ Of Each State

To find the states with the highest IQ, we consulted with a paper from the Journal Of Intelligence – Updated IQ and Well-Being Scores for the 50 U.S. States by Bryan J. Pesta from the Department of Management at Cleveland State University. He derived the IQ for each state from two tests – one for adults and one for children:

  1. Adults: Program for the International Assessment of Adult Competency
  2. Children: The National Assessment of Educational Progress

We then took the IQ derived by state and ordered them from highest to lowest to determine the states in the United States with the highest IQ.

Conclusion: States With The Highest And Lowest IQs

The IQ distribution across states reveals distinct variations in cognitive abilities. The highest IQ state, New Hampshire, boasts an average IQ of 103.2, reflecting a population that excels in cognitive performance. Conversely, the lowest IQ state, New Mexico, reports an average IQ of 95.0, indicating a comparatively lower mental aptitude.

The gap between the state with the highest and lowest IQ, quantified at 8.2, underscores the magnitude of cognitive disparities within the nation. While indicating varied factors contributing to intelligence, this disparity highlights the importance of equitable access to education, resources, and support across all states.

Understanding the nuances of state-based IQ variations shows that intelligence is not uniformly distributed. Instead, it reflects a complex interplay of factors that deserve further exploration and attention.


About Chris Kolmar

Chris Kolmar has been in the real estate business for almost ten years now. He originally worked for Movoto Real Estate as the director of marketing before founding HomeSnacks.

He believes the key to finding the right place to live comes down to looking at the data, reading about things to do, and, most importantly, checking it out yourself before you move.

If you've been looking for a place to live in the past several years, you've probably stumbled upon his writing already.

You can find out more about him on LinkedIn or his website.