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The Ten States Running Out Of Smart People

3. Oklahoma

> Population Change (2000-2009): 159,419 (4.6%)
> Bachelor’s Degree or Higher: 22.7% (42nd)
> Population With White Collar Careers: 11.8% (37th)
> NAEP Math: 41st
> NAEP Reading: 38th

The best Oklahoma performed in any of our metrics was 33rd, for a slight increase in the population with jobs requiring college educations. In every other category, the state experienced significant relative and actual decreases. Oklahoma had the sixth-worst decline in reading scores. Between 2000 and 2009, 39 states had better increases in adults with bachelors degrees, and 45 had better increases in advanced degrees.

2. Michigan

> Population Change (2000-2009): 100,764 (1%)
> Bachelor’s Degree or Higher: 24.6% (36th)
> Population With White Collar Careers: 11.7% (38th)
> NAEP Math: 36th
> NAEP Reading: 32nd

Michigan’s eighth graders scored significantly worse on reading tests in 2009 than in 2003.  The change was the fourth greatest decrease in the country.  The state also had the third worst change in math scores for eighth graders between those two years.  Michigan lost 6.17% of its population with college degrees between 2000 and 2009, the largest drop among all the states.  This is due in large part to the hard times the American automobile industry has had to face.

1. Colorado

> Population Change (2000-2009): 541,950 (12.6%)
> Bachelor’s Degree or Higher: 35.9% (2nd)
> Population With White Collar Careers: 15.1% (8th)
> NAEP Math: 15th
> NAEP Reading: 24th

Colorado’s education outcomes , even now, are quite good. The state has the second highest number of bachelor’s degrees per adult, and the 8th-highest portion of its population with a white-collar job. The state went from 11th in average reading scores to 23rd in seven years. Colorado dropped from 8th to 15th in in the portion of  the population with a high school degree. The state also had one of the largest decreases in white collar workers per capita.

Charles Stockdale and Douglas McIntyre