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The web site 24/7 Wall St. notes in a current post that “Regions with better-educated people tend to find it easier to draw and retain businesses. These regions are also likely to be more competitive in contrast to nations around the world like China, which has posted sharp increases in the level of educational attainment among its citizens.”

Okay, seems clear enough. And the significance of an analysis the site did of the 50 states, working out: “National Assessment of Educational Progress scores for math and reading in 2003 and 2009. We also looked at the percentage of people in each state with bachelor’s degrees, and their increases compared to the increases in the total populations in their states. We analysed the Bureau of Labor Statistics data on the portion of each state’s population which has white collar jobs. To supplement the figures which we used in the final analysis, 24/7 also reviewed numbers for high school and graduate school education.”

Fie on them for not noting the rankings of all 50 states, just the lowest 10. Consequently, Washington and Oregon aren’t noted here.

But Idaho is – at fourth from the bottom. It said: “In 2000, 84.7% of adults in Idaho had completed high school. By 2009, the number had dropped to 83.3%. This decrease of 1.71% is the third worst rate in the country. Idaho had the eighth worst percent difference in residents with bachelor’s degrees from 2000 to 2009, and the sixth worst percent difference in residents with advanced degrees.”

Other western states in the top (er, bottom) 10: Colorado (1), Oklahoma (3), Alaska (5), Arizona (6), Wyoming (7), Texas (9), Utah (10). Most of the Rocky Mountain west, in other words.

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  1. tournews1 tournews1 February 9, 2011

    Good grief! This thing is so poorly written and discombobulated that after three readings I still can’t decipher it. The first paragraph is a stunner. It seems to say that regions with smart people are more competitive in contrast to nations with smart people that are more competitive. ? WTF?

  2. fortboise fortboise February 9, 2011

    what tournews1 said. I looked at the source article to see the data, and found statistical sausage squeezed out all over the place.

    Best/worst percentage changes over the last decade without the context of where we came is a convenient approach to whipping up a top 10 list, but not so much for in-depth analysis.

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