When you live in South Dakota, it's easy to feel marginalized in a number of different ways.

As residents of the Mount Rushmore State, we can sometimes feel out of the loop when it comes to what's going on in the rest of the country and there can be a tendency to believe that we are looked down upon intellectually by some of the elitists on both coasts.

So I found it quite reassuring to see South Dakota's ranking on a new list of the smartest states in America, compiled by BestLife.

They looked at data collected by The Washington Post and Inc., factoring in things like SAT and ACT scores, as well as the average IQ scores.

What they discovered is that South Dakotans fall just outside the Top Ten in intelligence, tied for 11th overall with Kansas and New Jersey.

Those three states had an average IQ score of 102.8, which is nearly five points higher than the national average (98.0).


1. Massachusetts - 104.3

2. New Hampshire - 104.2

3. (tie) North Dakota, Vermont - 103.8

5. Minnesota - 103.7

6. (tie) Maine, Montana - 103.4

8. Iowa - 103.2

9. Connecticut - 103.1

10. Wisconsin - 102.9

11. (tie) South Dakota, Kansas, New Jersey - 102.8

On the other end of the spectrum, you'll find the states that didn't quite measure up in the IQ department, and not surprisingly a lot of them are in the Deep South.


1. Hawaii

2. Nevada

3. Mississippi

4. Alabama

5. Florida

6. South Carolina

7. West Virginia

8. Louisiana

9. North Carolina

10. Arizona

I will admit though that I might be willing to trade in a few IQ points to live in Hawaii.

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