The Ten States Running Out Of Smart People

8. Iowa
> Population Change (2000-2009): 52,556 (1.8%)
> Bachelor’s Degree or Higher: 25.1% (35th)

> Population With White Collar Careers: 13.4% (20th)
> NAEP Math: 27th
> NAEP Reading: 27th

Reading scores among Iowa’s 8th graders underwent the third greatest decrease in the nation between 2003 and 2009, based on numbers released by the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP).  With regards to math scores, the state ranks 49th out of all 50 states.  Math scores have not fallen in this time period, but they have essentially stalled while other states experienced substantial increases.

7. Wyoming

> Population Change (2000-2009): 30,167 (6.1%)
> Bachelor’s Degree or Higher: 23.8% (40th)
> Population With White Collar Careers: 13.6% (18th)
> NAEP Math: 20th
> NAEP Reading: 12th

In 2000, Wyoming had the third highest percentage of adults with a high school diploma. Since then, the state has had one of the worst improvements in the country in graduation rates. In the same time frame, the percentage of adults with bachelors degrees has decreased from 33rd in the nation to 40th. All but four states had better improvements in math scores between 2003 and 2009.

6. Arizona

> Population Change (2000-2009): 1,194,233 (23.3%)
> Bachelor’s Degree or Higher: 25.6% (29th)
> Population With White Collar Careers: 11.3% (40th)
> NAEP Math: 39th
> NAEP Reading: 41st

Arizona ranks in the bottom ten for the majority of metrics considered for this list.  Between 2000 and 2009 the amount of adults in the state with a high school diploma decreased by 0.85%, the eighth worst decrease in the country.  The state also has the fourth lowest increase in adults with bachelor’s degrees and the the eighth lowest increase in adults with advanced degrees.  Arizona has lost over 3% of its population with careers that require some sort of post-secondary degree between 2000 and 2009, the sixth worst drop in the nation.

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5. Alaska

Source: sarkophoto / Getty Images
> Population Change (2000-2009): 56,210 (9%)
> Bachelor’s Degree or Higher: 26.6% (24th)
> Population With White Collar Careers: 10.5% (46th)
> NAEP Math: 30th
> NAEP Reading: 39th

While average reading scores in Alaska improved significantly between 2003 and 2009, math scores fell flat. On top of this, the state performed terribly in educational achievement. The state fell from first to fourteenth in the nation in adults with a high school diploma, and had the smallest increase in the portion of its population with bachelor’s degrees in the country.

4. Idaho

> Population Change (2000-2009): 198,620 (15.4%)
> Bachelor’s Degree or Higher: 23.9% (39th)
> Population With White Collar Careers: 12.5% (31st)
> NAEP Math: 16th
> NAEP Reading: 28th

In 2000, 84.7% of adults in Idaho had completed high school.  By 2009, the number had dropped to 83.3%.  This decrease of 1.71% is the third worst rate in the country.  Idaho had the eighth worst percent difference in residents with bachelor’s degrees from 2000 to 2009, and the sixth worst percent difference in residents with advanced degrees.