Wallet Literacy

2019’s Most & Least Financially Literate States

How much have we learned since 2007?

New research from WalletHub. Reprinted with permission. Visit wallethub.com

After the Great Recession, it became clear that more people needed to learn financial literacy. The housing-market collapse and following financial crisis reminded Americans of our obsession with debt and the dangers of quick access to finances for under-informed consumers.

But how much have we learned since, and what are we doing to help future generations avoid repeating our mistakes?

Not enough, it would seem. We ended 2018 with $67 billion in new credit-card debt. That’s unsurprising, considering that only two in five adults actually have a budget. Total American credit card debt passed $1 trillion for the first time ever in 2018, so it’s clear that better financial education is necessary to try to turn this trend around. But the problems aren’t as pronounced in every state; some are more responsible than others.

In order to find the states with the best financial literacy, WalletHub analyzed financial-education programs and consumer habits — combined with the results of WalletHub’s proprietary WalletLiteracy Survey — in each of the 50 states and the District of Columbia. Our data set of 17 key metrics ranges from high-school financial literacy grade to share of adults with rainy-day funds. Read on for the results, insight from a panel of experts and a complete description of our methodology.

Most Financially Literate States

Overall Rank*StateTotal Score‘WalletLiteracy’ Rank‘Financial Planning & Habits’ Rank‘Financial Knowledge & Education’ Rank
1Virginia68.032872
2Utah67.974631
3New Hampshire67.36718
4New Jersey66.7910135
5Minnesota65.72569
6Maryland65.6814156
7Maine65.0911913
8Colorado64.306916
9North Dakota63.6832510
10New York63.02121818
11Illinois62.97133011
12Michigan62.5822820
13Nebraska62.06161624
14Alabama61.8044257
15Iowa61.66292019
16Ohio61.59262317
17North Carolina61.50203915
18Washington61.45211428
19Arizona61.35152625
20Kansas61.21113827
21Wisconsin60.9731240
22Tennessee60.6750403
23Florida60.61243123
24Montana60.5122837
25Texas60.42403612
26Connecticut60.3842436
27Missouri60.2547474
28Vermont60.15183530
29Georgia59.80373222
30Oregon59.79253329
31Massachusetts59.5235438
32South Carolina59.49384221
33Idaho59.01451026
34Indiana59.00174333
35Wyoming58.78191742
36Pennsylvania58.0492746
37California57.9834249
38West Virginia57.8085031
39Nevada57.79421135
40District of Columbia57.75272941
41Arkansas56.40514114
42Rhode Island56.15392146
43South Dakota56.06363444
44Hawaii55.82332250
45Kentucky55.47484432
46Oklahoma55.45414634
47New Mexico54.98234845
48Delaware54.83314543
49Mississippi54.58305139
50Alaska53.11433751
51Louisiana51.01494948

*1=Most Financially Literate