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NH and VT in Top 5 for Most-Skilled Workers

Published Tuesday Jun 23, 2020

NH and VT in Top 5 for Most-Skilled Workers

Newly released data show that Alaska, Minnesota, New Hampshire, and Vermont are among the top five states for both literacy and numeracy proficiency (as measured by average score), while the District of Columbia is in the top five in literacy and North Dakota is in the top five in numeracy.

The U.S. Department of Education's National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) today announced the release of a new analysis of the states and counties with the highest and lowest levels of adult literacy and numeracy skills. Five states are at the lowest end for both literacy and numeracy: Louisiana, Mississippi, Nevada, New Mexico, and Texas.

"As we adjust and respond to the changing economic and educational landscapes in the COVID-19 and post-COVID-19 world, reliable data are critical for understanding where the skilled workforce is, where more training is needed, and which areas are likely to take longer to recover," says NCES Commissioner Lynn Woodworth. "With these latest data, policymakers, business leaders, and educators are able to better understand the status and needs of their local communities."

The analysis uses data from the U.S. Skills Map: State and County Indicators of Adult Literacy and Numeracy, a new online tool that provides the most comprehensive snapshot available of these key workforce skills in every state and county in America. With the Skills Map, with the most up-to-date data about the literacy and numeracy proficiency of adults ages 16–74.

The data presented in the tool are based on results from the Program for the International Assessment of Adult Competencies (PIAAC), an international study of adults that measures the basic cognitive and workplace skills needed for successful participation in an advanced economy.

Visit to access the tool. For more information on the Skills Map, visit

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