Top 10 Smartest States for Financial Literacy

WalletHub, a financial decision making site, ranked these smart states based on two categories: knowledge and education; and planning and daily habits

There are some surprises in the rankings of the most financially literate states. There are some surprises in the rankings of the most financially literate states.

Making ends meet these days is challenging. Besides daily expenses, there are emergencies, planning for big-ticket items like college tuition for the kids, weddings and, of course, retirement.

On top of that, the end of many traditional pension plans means that the onus for retirement planning falls on individuals and those that have financial advisors.

We wondered just how equipped Americans are to be the stewards of their finances. Wallethub.com recently released its financial literacy rankings of the 50 states and Washington, D.C.

Wallethub.com noted that there is a huge financial literacy problem in the U.S. For instance, less than half of adults use a budget to monitor expenditures, and 60% do not have a rainy-day fund. On top of that, about one in five spend more than they earn.

Wallethub.com assessed states based on two categories: knowledge & education; and planning & daily habits.

The site looked at the high school dropout rate, results of a Financial Industry Regulatory Authority literacy survey and the percentage of adults with a bachelor’s degree, among other measures, to rate states in the first category. The second category included looking at the percentage of people who spend more than they earn, how many have a rainy-day fund and how many pay only the minimum payment on their credit cards, among other measures.

(Check out Top 10 Dumbest States for Financial Literacy)

Taking everything into account led to the site’s U.S. rankings.

Here are the Top 10 Smartest States for Financial Literacy.

Springfield, Massachusetts skyline.

10. MASSACHUSETTS

Overall Score: 10th out of 51

Literacy: 44th out of 51

Behavior: 2nd out of 51

http://media.thinkadvisor.com/thinkadvisor/article/2014/04/01/Idaho_Boise_Skyline_MI600.jpg

9. IDAHO

Overall Score: 9

Literacy: 2

Behavior: 30

Baltimore Inner Harbor.

8. MARYLAND

Overall Score: 8

Literacy: 11

Behavior: 11

Capitol in Bismarck, N.D. (Photo: AP)

7. NORTH DAKOTA

Overall Score: 7

Literacy: 14

Behavior: 3

Mount Rushmore in Keystone, S.D.

6. SOUTH DAKOTA

Overall Score: 6

Literacy: 5

Behavior: 11

The Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota.

5. MINNESOTA

Overall Score: 5

Literacy: 6

Behavior: 10

View of Jersey City from Liberty State Park.

4. NEW JERSEY

Overall Score: 4

Literacy: 7

Behavior: 9

Richmond skyline at night.

3. VIRGINIA

Overall Score: 3

Literacy: 3 (tie)

Behavior: 19

Mormon Temple in Salt Lake City. (Photo: AP)

2. UTAH

Overall Score: 2

Literacy: 3 (tie)

Behavior: 8

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