The Best State in the US for Education: A Comprehensive Analysis

Discover which state ranks #1 for education in the US according to WalletHub's comprehensive analysis. Learn about the importance of quality and safety in education and which states came out on top.

The Best State in the US for Education: A Comprehensive Analysis

As an education expert, I am often asked about the best state in the US for education. It's a question that has become even more pressing in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, which has caused significant learning loss and a decline in test scores for many students. As a parent, ensuring your child's academic success starts with choosing the right schools. But with so many factors to consider, how can you make an informed decision?That's where WalletHub's comprehensive analysis comes in.

Unlike other research that focuses primarily on academic outcomes or education funding, WalletHub takes a more holistic approach. They consider not just performance and funding, but also safety, class size, and instructor credentials. To determine the best-performing school systems in the United States, WalletHub compared all 50 states and the District of Columbia based on 32 key parameters. To determine which states are the best and worst for public school education, WalletHub looked at two key dimensions: “Quality” and “Safety.” These dimensions were evaluated using 32 relevant metrics, each rated on a 100-point scale with 100 representing the highest quality of K-12 public education.

The Importance of Quality Education

Quality education is crucial for a child's development and future success. It not only provides them with knowledge and skills but also helps them develop critical thinking, problem-solving, and communication skills.

A high-quality education can open doors to opportunities and set children up for a successful future. But what exactly makes a state's education system high-quality? WalletHub's analysis looked at various factors that contribute to a state's overall education quality. These include:

  • Academic Performance: This includes metrics such as test scores, graduation rates, and college readiness.
  • Education Funding: The amount of money invested in education, including per-pupil spending and school system efficiency.
  • Class Size: Smaller class sizes have been linked to better academic outcomes and individualized attention for students.
  • Instructor Credentials: The qualifications and experience of teachers and school staff.

The Role of Safety in Education

In addition to quality, safety is also a crucial factor in a state's education system. A safe learning environment is essential for students to thrive and reach their full potential. WalletHub's analysis looked at various safety metrics, including:
  • Bullying Incidents: The prevalence of bullying in schools can have a significant impact on a child's mental health and academic performance.
  • School Violence: This includes incidents of physical altercations, weapons possession, and drug use on school grounds.
  • Youth Incarceration Rates: The number of young people who are incarcerated can be an indicator of the effectiveness of a state's juvenile justice system.

The Top State for Education

So, which state came out on top in WalletHub's analysis? According to their findings, Massachusetts is the #1 state in the US for education.

It ranked highly in both quality and safety metrics, with the highest math and reading test scores and the lowest percentage of high school dropouts. Massachusetts also has the highest percentage of adults with at least a bachelor's degree, indicating a strong emphasis on higher education. Other states that made it to the top 10 include New Jersey, Connecticut, Virginia, Vermont, New Hampshire, Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Iowa. These states all scored well in terms of academic performance, education funding, and safety.

The Worst State for Education

On the other end of the spectrum, New Mexico was ranked as the worst state for education. It scored low in both quality and safety metrics, with the lowest math and reading test scores and the highest percentage of high school dropouts.

Other states that ranked poorly include Louisiana, Alaska, Arizona, Mississippi, Alabama, Nevada, West Virginia, and Oklahoma. It's worth noting that while these states may have ranked low overall, there are still individual schools and districts within them that excel in providing a quality education. It's essential to research and consider specific schools rather than just relying on state rankings.


As an education expert, I believe that every child deserves access to a high-quality education in a safe learning environment. While WalletHub's analysis provides valuable insights into the best and worst states for education in the US, it's important to remember that there are many factors at play when it comes to a child's academic success. Parents should consider their child's individual needs and do thorough research before making any decisions about their education.