Maybe Minnesota isn’t as smart as we think

One supposes we should just be happy we made the top 10 of smartest states in the country, but 10th? We only made 10th? There are only 50 states.

Minnesota is relatively unaccustomed to finishing this low in national surveys; we regularly rank in the top two or three for education, health, and quality of life. So it’s a bit of shock to see The Street’s recent survey of states based on such things as median income, percentage of people with degrees, and poverty.

This is the best they could come up with:

The land of 10,000 lakes is home to 31 of the top 1000 publicly traded companies in the country including Target (TGT_), SuperValu (SVU_) and Best Buy (BBY_). The world famous Mayo Clinic is also located in the Minnesota and employs 30,000 people in the state. As of 2006, more than 90% of seniors in the Minnesota public school system graduated, while the state led the country with the highest average ACT score in 2007.

We’re just behind New Hampshire, which is 7th in median household income, but that’s mostly because (a) people go to Massachusetts to make their money and (b) it costs a lot of money to live in the northeast. In fact, most every New England state (except for Rhode Island, which is an economic basket case; and Maine, which is still Maine) is ahead of us on the list. Only Colorado (at #2), joins Minnesota in the top 10.

We should get points just for being smart enough not to live elsewhere.

  • Tim

    Using the average SAT score will skew things as well, since traditionally, a lot of students in Minnesota take the ACT instead of the SAT unless they’re applying to schools that specifically require it.
    I also noted that some of the “dumber” states had good average SAT scores nonetheless, which probably reflects fewer but better students taking the test.