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Leading the Way: the Top Data Studies of 2022

At WiseGeek, we’re all about learning new things—especially when it comes to data and statistics. We love seeing studies and data-driven research that give us new insights into things we had never thought about before.

Over the last year, many new studies have popped up and we’ve been keeping track of the best ones! Here are a few of our favorite data-driven research pieces from 2022.

The Best States for Pets in 2022

This study by Pettable looked at seven data sets relating to pets, including ownership statistics, animal anti-cruelty laws, and pet-friendly living conditions.

Check out the study here.

Here are a few data highlights from their report:

  • Arizona is the #1 best state for pets
  • Rhode Island ranked as the worst state for pets
  • New Hampshire has the highest animal save rate in the country at 92.6%

The Cost of Eating Out Versus Eating In by State

Top Nutrition Coaching analyzed the cost of eating out in every state and compared it to the cost of staying home and cooking your own food.

See all of their data here.

A few interesting insights from their study:

  • Missouri is the most affordable state for staying home and cooking at $3.34 per meal on average
  • Hawaii is the most expensive state for eating in at $6.55 per meal
  • New Yorkers can save an average of $19.40 per meal by opting to cook at home rather than eat out

States with the Highest and Lowest SAT Scores in 2022

Students from all states work hard to prepare themselves for the SAT, yet some states have much higher average scores than others. Learner looked at official SAT scores broken down by state to see which students in the nation perform better than others on this important placement test.

See the full report here.

Interesting data points from the report include:

  • Minnesota students have the highest SAT scores, earning 1263 out of a possible 1600 on average
  • Deleware ranks as the lowest-scoring state, where the average is 984
  • The national average score is 1060, meaning Minnesota scores more than 200 points higher than the national average, while Delaware is 76 points below

The Healthiest States in America [2022 Study]

Health supplement company Enso Superfoods looked at various CDC data sets to find out just which states are the healthiest in the nation.

Find their full report here.

Top highlights from their data include:

  • Vermont is the healthiest state in America—people there eat more fruit than any other state and are the most physically active in the nation
  • Mississippi is the least healthy state and has the highest obesity rate in the country
  • States in the northeastern part of the nation eat the most vegetables

The Most Active States in America

Nutritionist matching company Top Nutrition Coaching found out which states are the most active in the country using CDC data.

View their report here.

Interesting data points from the study are:

  • Montana and Vermont tied as the most active states in the country
  • Mississippi is the least active state and ranked low in almost every data category
  • Many of the least active states are located in the south, while many of the most active states are in mountainous or coastal areas

States with the Highest Student Loan Debt in 2022

Scholarship Institute looked at student loan debt figures in each state, given that student loan forgiveness has been such a prominent topic over the last two years.

Find the study here.

Here are a few standout statistics:

  • District of Columbia tops the list with an average of $55,508 in student loans per borrower
  • Borrowers between the ages of 50-61 have more student loan debt than any other age group at $45,146 on average
  • North Dakota has the lowest student loan debt in the country at nearly $30,000 per borrower

The Cost of Owning a Dog by State

ESA provider Pettable knows that owning a dog can be expensive, so they’ve broken down the cost of owning a dog in each state, accounting for all factors from food to vaccinations to pet insurance.

Check out their data here.

Highlights from the data include:

  • Delaware owners pay more than any other state to own a dog at $2,864 on average
  • Idaho is the most affordable state for owning a dog at $1,232
  • New York is the most expensive state for yearly vet visits

The Most Sought-After Colleges and Universities in the United States

Scholarship platform Bold.org looked at the schools of interest for over 1.7 million students to figure out which colleges and universities are the most sought-after in the country.

See the comprehensive study here.

A few notable findings from the report:

  • UCLA is the #1 school that students want to attend in the nation
  • Stanford has only a 4% acceptance rate and ranks #6 on the list
  • Famous attendees of schools on the list include George Lucas, Barack Obama, and Matthew McConaughey

Survey: The State of Mental Health in America 2022

Mental health is always an important topic, and Pettable surveyed 1,500 people about their mental health to catch a glimpse of what Americans’ mental wellness looks like.

Find the full survey results here.

Here are a few interesting survey findings:

  • 45% of Americans reported that their mental health is better when working full-time from home, versus a full-time or hybrid office environment
  • Women are 17% more likely than men to experience anxiety
  • Those who use social media are 24% more likely to have depression than those that don’t use social media at all

States That Spend the Most on Education

The money put into education can heavily influence children’s learning—from the quality of teachers that are hired to the resources kids have access to. Learner looked into how much each state spends on public education.

View the entire study here.

Highlights from the data:

  • Alaska spends the most at $53,124 per student for K-12 and postsecondary education
  • Many of the lowest-spending states also rank low for math scores
  • Idaho spends the least overall at $19,661 per student—a gap of more than $33,000 per student when compared to the highest-spending state

Most Popular College Majors in 2022

What people study in college can impact their career later on, and it seems that some fields are much more popular than others! Bold.org looked at data from over 1.5 million college students to find out which majors are the most popular this year overall, along with the data broken down by state and graduation year.

Check out their research here.

Notable findings from the report:

  • The top three majors in the nation are Business, Nursing, and Psychology, respectively
  • The vast majority of states have Business or Nursing as their most popular—only two states had a different major listed, both of which chose Psychology
  • The most popular major for those graduating in 2022, 2023, and 2024 is Business, and in 2025, it is Psychology

The Average Cost of Having a Baby in Each State

It’s already known that having kids gets expensive—but just how expensive is it? Pregnancy pillow company Body Nest calculated the cost of having a baby in each state, accounting for birth costs, increased living costs associated with having a baby, and even daycare for the first year.

View the study here.

Here are a few highlights from the research:

  • Massachusetts has the highest cost of having a baby, coming to a total of $34,689
  • Alabama’s cost of having a baby is the lowest in the nation at $14,130—less than half of Massachusetts’ cost
  • Infant childcare for one-year costs between $6,000-$20,000 across the country

States with the Highest and Lowest Math Scores

With STEM fields progressing more and more, math is one of the most important subjects students can master these days. Learner took a dive into math scores throughout the nation and created a comparison of each state to find out which ones have the highest math scores.

Find the complete comparison here.

Some insights from the study:

  • Florida ranks last in the nation for math scores, at an average of 50 points below the benchmark
  • On the other hand, Minnesota has an average score that’s 106 points above the benchmark
  • North Dakota may not have the highest average score, but they do have the highest percentage of students that meet the math benchmark at 85%
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