Are white southerners jus' plum ignurunt? I've lived in several regions of the country, and everywhere I go I hear people making fun of Southerners. And Texan George Bush, sadly, has not helped dispel the stereotype. I wonder if people think that something in the water down there lowered George's IQ ten points, along with everybody else.
I've seen a lot of highly educated people I wouldn't want as my partner if I had to survive on a desert island ("Professor" from Gilligan's Island notwithstanding) but let's look at how many whites (ages 25-40) graduate with at least a bachelor's degree in various regions of the country:
New England 34.2
Middle Atlantic 29.4
East North Central 22.7
West North Central 31.4
South Atlantic 26.4
East South Central 20.7
West South Central 24.0
First, the southern states running along the Atlantic are about average. The East South Central region (AL, KT, MS, TN) is the least educated, but is closely followed by a northern region (East North Central: IN, OH, IL, MI, WI). Where are the jokes about all the stupid Wisconsans? How smart can you be with a head made of cheese? Texans (and AK, LA, OK) are smarter than they are, with almost one-quarter getting at least 4 years of college.
(Source: General Social Survey)
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