These States Have the Lowest IQs

By: Beth Moreton | Published: May 12, 2024

The IQ test was developed to test the intelligence of people from all walks of life.

In one instance, it’s been used to test the IQs of people in different states across the US to find out which states have the highest and lowest IQs. Does your state make the list for the lowest IQ average? Read on to find out. 

South Carolina

South Carolina is the 39th most intelligent state in the US, with an average IQ score of 98.4.

A street in Charleston, South Carolina. The houses are multicolored, and cars are parked outside them. A man is riding in a horse and carriage down the street.

Source: Leo Heisenberg/Unsplash

People living here have an average SAT score of 1030 and a literacy score of 77.6%.


People in Georgia don’t exactly have the lowest IQ, but they are pretty average compared to those living in other states.

Atlanta, Georgia, at night. There are high-rise buildings throughout the city lit up.

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The average IQ in Georgia is 98.1, which is slightly above average, as the average IQ across the whole of the US is 98.


Arkansas is ranked as the 42nd most intelligent US state, based on its IQ score.

A view of Arkansas. High-rise buildings are in the background; in the foreground is a river with trees next to it.

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The average IQ in Arkansas is 97.5, meaning that people in Arkansas have a lower-than-average IQ.


It might be the largest US state, but Texans have a smaller and quite a below-average intelligence.

A red sign that says “Texas” with a cactus plant behind it.

Source: Enrique Macias/Unsplash

Those living in Texas were found to have a low IQ score of 97.4. They say, “Don’t mess with Texas,” but this number is just downright scary!

West Virginia

People living in West Virginia have an average IQ score of 97.2.

A view of a bridge in West Virginia. The bridge is red and goes through a forest of green trees.

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People with a score like this are viewed as having below-average intelligence, which fits in the IQ score range of 80-100.



Next up is Nevada, with an average IQ of 96.5. Ouch!

A view of Redrock Canyon in Nevada. A road goes through the canyon.

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This score was figured out by examining SAT and ACT scores, as well as the state’s high school and college graduation rates.



Alabama might be known for its warmth and hospitality, but its residents’ IQs don’t rank very high.

A view of Birmingham, Alabama. There are buildings in the background and a body of water in the foreground in which the buildings are reflected.

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Alabama’s IQ is low at 96.4, and the state also has a low well-being score of 76. Looks like they’ve got some work to do!


New Mexico

New Mexico has been ranked 46th overall for its low IQ scores.

The desert of Albuquerque, New Mexico

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People living in New Mexico have an average IQ score of 95.7. So, while it’s not the lowest, it certainly isn’t the highest.



This may surprise you, but people in California have one of the lowest IQs across the whole of the US.

The Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, California. The bridge is red and goes over a body of water.

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The average IQ of people living in California is 95.5! What about Silicon Valley and all the start-up and tech nerds? Guess their intelligence isn’t enough to raise the average IQ score of a Californian.



A 2022 study found that Louisiana has one of the lowest IQs at 95.2.

A lake in Lousiana. Trees are growing out of the lake.

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Louisiana is also ranked quite low for education, crime, and income. It’s a charming state, so hopefully the newer generation can raise their average IQ score. 



One of the lowest IQs in the US is Mississippi, with an average IQ score of 94.2.

A view of a lake in Mississippi. The lake is surrounded by trees and grass.

Source: Jp Valery/Unsplash

But despite having one of the lowest IQs, it is ranked fifth for SAT scores at an average of 1226. We’re not sure how that happened either, but at least we’re leaving you on a high note!