North Dakota ranks best in nation for teachers, study says

North Dakota has been ranked the best state in the nation for teachers in a study conducted by Wallet Hub, a personal finance website.

The state ranks second in pupil-teacher ratio, the study said. North Dakota also ranked highly in some aspects of teacher friendliness, including pupil-teacher ratio, teacher safety, and changes in teacher salary in the past decade.

Authors of the report, titled “2019’s Best and Worst States for Teachers,” analyzed the 50 states and the District of Columbia using 23 key metrics, ranging from growth in teachers’ income to pupil-teacher ratio to teacher safety. Metrics carried different weights depending on how critical they are to “teacher friendliness.”

The study was conducted to help educators find the best opportunities and teaching environments in the country. To determine teacher friendliness, Wallet Hub compared the states across two key dimensions, namely “opportunity and competition” and “academic and work environment.”

North Dakota ranked 13th in public-school spending per student, the Wallet Hub study found.


Although North Dakota ranked 23rd in average starting salary for teachers, adjusted for cost of living, it ranked third in the 10-year change in teacher salaries. It ranked 19th in teachers’ income growth potential.

North Dakota ranked third in teacher safety.

Minnesota ranked sixth and North Dakota ninth in quality of the school system. Minnesota and North Dakota ranked 7th and 12th, respectively, among the best states for working moms.

Among the best states in the nation for teachers, South Dakota ranked 27th and Montana 29th; New Hampshire and Arizona ranked 50th and 51st, respectively.

Although teaching can be a rewarding career, about one-fifth of all public school teachers leave their positions within three years, and nearly half last fewer than five years, according to Wallet Hub.

Pamela Knudson is a features and arts/entertainment writer for the Grand Forks Herald.

She has worked for the Herald since 2011 and has covered a wide variety of topics, including the latest performances in the region and health topics.

Pamela can be reached at or (701) 780-1107.
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