In a recent study done by WalletHub, Alabama ranks among the least educated states in the country. Others ranked lower than the Yellowhammer state include Arkansas, Louisiana, West Virginia and Mississippi.
The highest ranked southern state was Florida, who came in at 27th. Atop the list of most educated was Massachusetts.
The study is based off of education attainment, quality of school and achievement gaps between races and genders. They compared all 50 states across 18 total metrics and then grouped them in two categories: Most educated and least educated.
Despite Alabama’s rural areas, the city of Huntsville managed to hit near the top of most educated cities, sitting at number 30. Birmingham was the closest Alabama city to the Rocket City, sitting at number 85.
So why is there such a vast difference between Huntsville and the rest of the state?
“Eighty percent of Restone Arsenal and Cummings Research Park employees have a four-year degree or an above/advanced degree. So Huntsville is very educationally-driven and I think that’s why it’s kind of a stand-out city,” said Strategic Media Specialist, Rylie Livingston of the University of Alabama in Huntsville.
Livingston said UAH offers courses that connect students to the educationally-driven city of Huntsville on a regular basis. Their involvement in local high schools also helps them achieve academic excellence, and increase North Alabama’s educational footprint.
As far as high school rankings go, North Alabama ranks fairly well. Madison, Limestone, and Morgan counties all are above average. Jackson and Marshall counties sit right at the average mark, while Colbert and DeKalb are below average.