The US and the Top 10 Dumbest States for Financial IQ

The idea of a comfortable retirement seems far-fetched for many, but there is a way to help make that chapter of your life possible – by increasing your financial knowledge and improving your financial behavior.

The Employee Benefit Research Institute in Washington, D.C. recently released a new study that shows the difference in financial literacy and behavior between states around the country.  Here is the top ten list of the least financially literate states and their overall scores. The scores were compiled by adding each states score of literacy and behavior. The highest scores are considered the worst and therefore, part of the dumbest states for their financial IQ’s.

10. Texas – 83
9. North Carolina – 84
8. Alabama –  85
7. Ohio – 85
6. Tennessee – 87
5. Kentucky – 91
4. West Virginia – 96
3. Louisiana – 97
2. Arkansas – 97
1. Mississippi – 99

This data shows that states with lower literacy scores, also have lower financial behavior scores.

How can you help break this cycle? Be part of the solution by increasing your own financial knowledge and providing financial education to those around you. The more you know about your finances, the more prepared you will be for unexpected expenses, debt and retirement. In need a good resource? While we generally do not plug our educational programs on the blog, a mention today could be quite helpful. Consider a subscription to our or the college student version, These web-based financial education programs are strictly educational without any products sold and free from any conflict of interest.

To read more about this study, click here for the entire article from AdvisorOne.

4 thoughts on “The US and the Top 10 Dumbest States for Financial IQ

  1. This doesn’t necessarily shock me. I was surprised at the intense correlation between which states have the lowest net worth and wage averages and how they are also the most financially illiterate. The correlation between these is pretty straight forward and simple, but reflects that maybe conditions in these states could improve by simply providing more financial education. The article was eye-opening and informative.

  2. The results of this study do not necessarily surprise me, though the fact that literally almost the entire Southern region of the US made the top 10 is a little off putting. I am from Louisiana but have been fortunate enough to attend college and learn financial literacy as not to contribute to these statistics. I think the reason that the southern states rank so high is precisely that – the amount of citizens that actually attend and finish college in those states is lower than that of other states. Fortunately, the Government is trying to help by establishing groups like the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau which helps financially unsophisticated individuals to not fall for predatory lending or helps them to understand a little better what they are getting into with their loans, etc. The only way to fix this is education, and until the culture of the south aligns itself more with education and less with government handouts, this unfortunately will not change.

  3. I didn’t realize how financially unintelligent the southern states are. Im from Louisiana so the results were a bit shocking. This is a very well written and informative article.

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