Did you know that some states are financially savvier than others?  And that’s not just in terms of state budgeting practices. Some have residents who score much higher than their neighbors in terms of financial literacy and stability, according to a recent survey conducted by WalletHub.  WalletHub used 15 different metrics to measure the financial skills of residents of all 50 states, plus Washington, D.C. Metrics included the percentage of adults with emergency savings, the number of households without bank accounts, and the share of adults borrowing from lenders other than banks.

The most financial savvy states

According to WalletHub, the 10 states with residents in the best financial shape overall, starting with the savviest state are:

  • New Hampshire
  • Virginia
  • Minnesota
  • Maryland
  • Utah
  • New Jersey
  • Maine
  • Colorado
  • North Dakota
  • Illinois

Different states at the top of the list excelled for different reasons.

New Hampshire scored very high in all categories. Its residents were No. 3 when it came to good financial planning habits and ranked No. 1 in performance on WalletHub’s WalletLiteracy test, which is a 30-question online test compiled with help from professors in the field of finance. The test — which includes questions ranging from how to tell which laundry detergent is cheapest to what factors matter when deciding to buy a home  — was completed by more than 8,000 people from across the country.

Virginians, on the other hand, were better at putting financial ideas into practice, as the state scored No. 2 in terms of residents exhibiting good financial habits such as having a rainy day fund. While Virginia residents may be doing the right things, their WalletLiteracy Ranking was ninth and they ranked only 29th in financial knowledge.

By contrast, Maine residents were No. 1 in financial knowledge, but 17th in financial planning and habits, so while those residents know their stuff, they aren’t always doing what they should.

The least financially savvy places

Now for the bottom of the list: the 10 least financially savvy places to live. Starting with the lowest score and working up, these are:

  • Louisiana
  • Alaska
  • Mississippi
  • Oklahoma
  • District of Columbia
  • New Mexico
  • South Dakota
  • Kentucky
  • Delaware
  • Rhode Island

The worst-performing state, Louisiana, received an overall score of 52.72, compared with New Hampshire’s total score of 70.28. Louisiana scored the worst of all 50 states plus the District of Columbia in financial habits, and came in 49th out of 51 for financial education. Louisiana residents also struggled on the WalletLiteracy test, finishing 47th. Mississippians, however, performed the worst on the test, although their financial knowledge and education score was actually not too bad, ranking 26th.

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