You:  It’s not lighthouses.

Probably not.

You: Or millions of acres of corn fields.

Not likely.

You:  What is it?

Very high average student loan balances.

You: How and why would you know this?

Late at night, after we get the kids down, one of the things I like to do to relax is study student loan patterns by county.

You: For real?

Heck no!  I was just reading the carnival of personal finance, hosted by Living Almost Large and noted an article by Broke Grad Student called Average Student Loan Debt By State. Inside the artcile is a map of average student loan debt by state.  (I will admit to being a bit of a map geek).

The states with the two highest student loan burdens are Iowa and New Hampshire.  Broke Grad Student and several commenters weighed in with their theories as to why.  Not surprisingly, factors include the cost of the schools in the state, the extent of state support to the public schools, cost of living, and cultural factors.

Check out the carnival, article, and map. How does your state fare.  Are you surprised at all by the results?

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