When talking about the mind's intellect and abilities, the IQ test is a measurement that tends to be brought into the conversation. As one of many controversial topics globally, the IQ test is something that people are very divided on, seeing as it is viewed as a way of defining people's intelligence levels based on one test.
The argument against the IQ test is that one test cannot accurately predict the intellect of every single person who takes it because people are so different. The thought behind opponents of the IQ test is that there is far too much variety worldwide. Comparing everyone against the one test is too simplistic to fully capture people's intellect levels.
On the other side of the controversial topic, many people believe that the IQ test accurately detects people's intelligence levels across the board. What is an IQ, and how do each of the U.S. states compare, based on their citizens' average IQ? Let's find out!
The Definition of an Intelligence Quotient
Intelligence quotients are a measurement of psychological parameters that define a person's intellect based on their mental age and actual age. The value found after dividing the person's mental age by the person's actual age since birth needs to be multiplied by a value of one hundred.
You may be wondering how the IQ scores were calculated. How could anyone possibly collect every resident's IQ score in each of the 50 states and then take the average of each population's total value? Researchers took a look at the average IQ test scores of anyone in the state who had previously sat through an IQ test in 2015.
People can find out their IQ scores online by taking interactive IQ tests. Many people take IQ tests when considering applying for Mensa, a community of people who fall into the 98th percentile of intelligence scores on formal, administered intelligence tests. Mensa is a community of people who all share an IQ score greater than 98% of IQ scores worldwide.
But when it came to the Washington Post study, the researchers also took SAT scores, ACT scores, and the estimated number of people who graduated from college in each state into consideration. The SAT Is an exam that high school students sit for before applying to higher education, as is the ACT. If you have not yet noticed, all of the variables that researchers paid attention to when determining the average IQ of a state had a lot to do with a certain level of education. This is because educated people tend to score higher on IQ tests than people who never received an education or who stopped attending classes before reaching college.
Average IQs vary significantly between countries. The United States has an average IQ of 98.
States in Order of Average IQ Scores
The highest-ranking state in terms of average IQ is Massachusetts, with an average IQ score of 104.3 and a population of just under seven million people. The state with the lowest IQ score turns out to be Mississippi, with the IQ score of residents coming to about 94.2 on average. There is a difference of 10.1 IQ points between Mississippi and Massachusetts, which is not as drastic of a discrepancy as you might predict there'd be among fifty states.
From the state with the highest intelligence quotient on average to the US state with the lowest IQ score across the board, here is a list of the fifty states in America in order of average IQ scores...
To be completely fair and transparent, the intelligence quotient is not the most accurate way of determining someone's intelligence. After all, it is nearly impossible to fully calculate someone's intellect because it is not a variable that is numerically represented. Instead, IQ scores are a way of trying to put a number on someone's intelligence. Below are the average IQ scores of each of the 50 states.