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August 02, 2017

Pennsylvania is one of nation's top states for most student debt, report finds

Student debt up to your eyeballs? Join the club.

Pennsylvania has been given a top spot in a recent list compiling the states with the "Most and Least Student Debt" for 2017 released Wednesday.

WalletHub, a personal finance website, ranked the Keystone State as the No. 3 state with the most to pay back, falling behind Ohio and Mississippi at the No. 1 and No. 2 spots, respectively. The website looked at the nation's 50 states as well as Washington, D.C. and organized the list based on two categories, including student-loan indebtedness as well as "grant and student work opportunities."

Both categories also considered 10 individual factors, including the share of student loans in past-due or default status, student loan borrowers 50 or older, unemployment rate and availability of paid internships. The data was compiled using information from the U.S. Census Bureau, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Institute for College Access & Success and others.

New Jersey fared a bit better on the list at No. 32 while Hawaii came in as the state with the least amount of debt, according to WalletHub.

Individually, Pennsylvania was No. 2 in the nation for "average student debt," No. 3 for "proportion of students with debt," No. 11 for "unemployment rate of population aged 25 to 34" and No. 22 for "availability of student jobs."

The Pennsylvania Independent Fiscal Office reported earlier this year that more educated millennials are leaving the state. In the trend report from April, the IFO found that 34,000 people ages 20-35 holding at least an associate degree moved into Pennsylvania in 2015 while 47,000 left. 

While there's no hard and fast reason for the trend, the IFO speculates that Pennsylvanians are moving back to their home states following college graduation to save money since the Keystone State's student debt rates are sky-high.

Find the top 10 states with the most student debt from WalletHub below or find its complete list here.

1. Ohio 
2. Mississippi 
3. Pennsylvania 
4. West Virginia
5. New Hampshire 
6. South Dakota 
7. Michigan 
8. Minnesota 
9. Iowa 
10. Indiana