Try to digest this concept for a moment: The real estate blog Movoto analyzed 500,000 Tweets from across the country in an effort to gauge each state’s relative intelligence.
Movoto focused its research on the Twitter users’ reading levels, then went and made the leap of correlating those numbers with previously reported average IQ levels.
I’m not sure Twitter is the best place to find people using correct English, what with the rampant use of shorthand in order to squeeze our comments into 140 characters.
Nonetheless, Mainers actually come out of this thing looking pretty good. Or, at least as good as almost anyone else in this country.
Nationwide, Movoto found our Twitter traffic is reflective of a group with just less than a fifth grade reading level.
Here in the Pine Tree State, though, we rank fifth in the country by reading [Tweeting?] at an average grade level of almost 5.3.
Vermont has the smartest Tweeters — yes, I just used the phrase “smartest Tweeters” — with an average grade level of 5.7, followed by Wyoming at 5.5. Massachusetts and Minnesota are just above 5.3, while Maine is just under.
Because posts like this demand maps, here’s Movoto’s map:
Ooh, and here’s an interactive map — even better:
You can see based on all this that the lowest performing state was Louisiana, whose Twitter users showed off what appeared to be about a fourth grade reading level.
Here’s what Movoto had to say about the whole exercise — basically, that there’s some meat here, despite what you might have to say about the bad grammar inherent in Twitter’s truncated delivery method:
While the scores overall were relatively low (states fell between a fourth grade and sixth grade reading level), the required brevity of Tweets is likely the cause of this and the comparison of states is the real measurement of interest.
So what’s behind the varying reading grade levels? First, it’s important to note that the age of the Tweeter was not taken into consideration. However, even without that stipulation, a clear regional pattern emerged and coincides fairly well with state educational performance statistics.