When talking about intellect and abilities of the mind, the IQ test is a measurement that tends to be brought into the conversation. As one of many controversial topics in the world, the IQ test is something that people are very divided on, seeing as it is viewed as a way of defining the intelligence levels of people 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 amongst people across the globe, and comparing everyone against the of one test is too simplistic to fully capture people's individual intellect levels.
On the other side of the controversial topic, many people do believe that the IQ test accurately and appropriately detects people's intelligence levels across the board. So what in the world is an IQ and how do each of the states in the USA compare, based on the average IQ of their citizens? Let's find out!
The Definition of an Intelligence Quotient
Intelligence quotients are a measurement in psychological parameters that defines a person's intellect based on their mental age and their actual age. From there, the value that is 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 the IQ score of every resident in each of the fifty states and then take the average of each population's total value? That might not be impossible, but it would certainly be time-consuming. So, instead of trying to be precise and inclusive of every age group in a state, researchers actually took a look at the average IQ test scores of anyone in the state who had previously sat through an IQ test in 2015.
There are online sources that provide interactive IQ test for people to take just for the sake of testing their own IQ scores. Many people take IQ tests when they are considering to apply for Mensa, which is a community of people who fall into the ninety-eighth percentile of intelligence scores on formal, administered intelligence tests. Mensa is a community of people who all share an IQ score that is greater than ninety-eight percent of IQ scores around the world.
But when it came to the study conducted by the Washington Post, the researchers also took SAT scores, ACT scores, and the estimated number of people who graduated college in each state into consideration. The SAT Is an exam that high school students sit for prior to 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 due to the fact that people who are educated tend to score higher on IQ tests than people who never received an education or who stopped attending classes before reaching college.
States 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. That disclaimer aside, let's take a look at the values that have been calculated for the average IQ scores of each of the fifty states in America.
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...
As you can see, 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.