These Are The 10 Dumbest Cities In Arizona


We used science and data to determine which of Arizona’s cities are dumb as rocks.

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This article is an opinion based on facts and is meant as infotainment. Don’t freak out.

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As a state, Arizona isn’t the sharpest tool in the shed.

In fact, a recent study published by The Washington Post found that Arizona is the tenth dumbest state in America, with the eighth lowest IQ scores in the country.

But that doesn’t mean everywhere you go in Arizona is filled with airheads – a handful of cities contribute to Arizona’s well-below average smartness scores by having huge populations of uneducated adults and teenagers.

After crunching the numbers, we came up with this list of the ten dumbest cities in the Grand Canyon State:

  1. Eloy (Photos)
  2. South Tucson (Photos)
  3. Florence (Photos)
  4. Tolleson (Photos)
  5. Coolidge (Photos)
  6. Guadalupe (Photos)
  7. Winslow (Photos)
  8. Page (Photos)
  9. Nogales (Photos)
  10. Globe (Photos)

For more Arizona reading, check out:

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How we determined the dumbest cities in the Grand Canyon State

We realize that formal education isn’t everything when it comes to being smart, but on the other hand not knowing the difference between they’re, their, and there is always going to make you look pretty stupid.

So we narrowed down our criteria to focus both on a city’s educational opportunities and what percentage of the population takes advantage of those opportunities.

In short, we came up with these criteria to determine the dumbest cities in Arizona:

  • % of city’s population with less than a high school education (Age 25+)
  • % of high school dropouts (Ages 16-19)

Note: We only looked at cities with populations greater than 5,000, leaving us 59 cities in Arizona to rank. We also looked at the graduation rates of the entire population, not the current rates for high schoolers.

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1. Eloy

Dumbest Arizona

Population: 17,062
Adults Without High School Diploma: 38.6%
Teenage High School Dropouts: 31.8%

Located 50 miles northwest of Tucson, Eloy has the distinction of being the dumbest city in Arizona for a couple of reasons.

First, 38.6% (nearly 4 in 10) of Eloy’s adult population never completed high school, which is the sixth highest rate in Arizona of cities with populations over 5,000.

Second, Eloy has the second highest teenage high school dropout rate in the state, with a staggering 31.8% of students opting to not finish basic education. That’s almost 4 times as high as the average for cities we looked at data for.

One hint to as why Eloy may top this list is the fact that the Corrections Corporation of America is the biggest employer in the city, and employs nearly 10 times as many people as the city’s elementary schools.

2. South Tucson

Dumbest Arizona

Source: Public domain

Population: 5,675
Adults Without High School Diploma: 42.5%
Teenage High School Dropouts: 20.8%

An enclave of the much larger Tucson, South Tucson is a one square mile city with the worst crime rate in all of Arizona.

Crime and stupidity go hand in hand apparently, as South Tucson is also the second dumbest city in Arizona, with the third highest rate of adults without GEDs.

Besides the fact that more than 4 in 10 adults living in South Tucson never finished high school, more than 2 in 10 teenage students drop out of high school each year, giving South Tucson the sixth highest rate of dropouts in the state.

3. Florence

Dumbest Arizona

Population: 26,513
Adults Without High School Diploma: 26.1%
Teenage High School Dropouts: 38.1%

Located 60 miles southeast of Phoenix, Florence is the third dumbest city in Arizona, with the worst high school dropout rate in the state.

38.1% of Florence’s teenage high school students drop out each year, which is higher than the second highest dropout rate in the state by 6.3%, and is more than 4 times higher than the state’s average.

On top of that, more than a quarter of adults living in Florence never completed high school, so there aren’t a whole lot of role models instilling the importance of education in the upcoming generation.

4. Tolleson

Dumbest Arizona

Population: 6,707
Adults Without High School Diploma: 39.4%
Teenage High School Drop Outs: 18.3%
Tolleson has the distinction of being both the fourth most dangerous and fourth dumbest city in Arizona, which doesn’t exactly make it an attractive city for raising a family.

Nearly 4 in 10 adults living in Tolleson don’t have their high school diploma, which, crazily, is only the fifth highest rate in Arizona.

The dropout rate is also more than twice as bad as the state’s average, with about 18 of every 100 high schoolers dropping out each year.

5. Coolidge

Dumbest Arizona

Population: 12,058
Adults Without High School Diploma: 21.7%
Teenage High School Dropouts: 23.1%

Coolidge has seen a rapid expansion in the last 20 years, with a population increase of over 50% from 2000.

Apparently, the newcomers aren’t bringing a whole lot wit to bear, as more than 1 in 5 of Coolidge’s adults never earned a high school degree.

What’s more troubling, though, is that an even higher proportion of Coolidge’s high school students are dropping out.

Even with Central Arizona College located in Coolidge, 23.1% of Coolidge’s high schoolers won’t have the opportunity to attend.

6. Guadalupe

Dumbest Arizona

Population: 5,892
Adults Without High School Diploma: 39.8%
Teenage High School Dropouts: 11.6%

Located between Phoenix and Tempe, Guadalupe is the sixth dumbest place in Arizona.

Nearly 4 in 10 adults living in Guadalupe don’t have a GED, which is the fourth highest rate in the state.

The dropout rate isn’t spectacular either, with 11.6% of teenagers leaving high school each year, a rate 3.5% higher than the average for cities with populations greater than 5,000.

7. Winslow

Dumbest Arizona

Source: Public domain

Population: 9,570
Adults Without High School Diploma: 20.8%
Teenage High School Dropouts: 20.2%

Winslow is the seventh dumbest city in Arizona overall, with the eighth highest rate of teenage dropouts in the state.

20.2% of high school students drop out, which might be related to these facts: More than a quarter of residents under the age of 18 live below the poverty line, and Winslow’s is the fifth most dangerous city in Arizona.

Still, with both 1 in 5 adults and teenagers opting out basic education, it’s hard to see how Winslow will solve any of its many issues.

8. Page

Dumbest Arizona

Population: 7,374
Adults Without High School Diploma: 16.8%
Teenage High School Dropouts: 21.3%

Located in north-central Arizona, Page is the eighth dumbest city in Arizona, which, combined with the fact that the city is also the second most dangerous in the state, makes Page sound like a not-so-great place overall.

16.8% of Page’s residents over the age of 25 never completed high school, which is actually only 1% higher than the average for cities we looked at data for.

The real dummy-points for Page come from its stupid high dropout rate of 21.3%, which is the fifth worst in the state.

9. Nogales

Dumbest Arizona

Source: Public domain

Population: 20,699
Adults Without High School Diploma: 35.3%
Teenage High School Dropouts: 7.9%

Located on the Mexican border, Nogales ranks as the ninth dumbest city in Arizona overall, mostly because of the high percentage of adult residents who don’t have high school degrees.

But formal education is the least of people’s worries in Nogales, as more than a third of the population lives below the poverty line, including 41.2% of those under the age of 18.

In light of that fact, it’s quite impressive that the teenage high school dropout rate in Nogales is only 7.9%. That’s the lowest on this list, and 0.2% lower than the state average.

It shows that Nogales has a lot of potential to improve its conditions in the next generation.

10. Globe

Dumbest Arizona

Source: Public domain

Population: 7,463
Adults Without High School Diploma: 18.4%
Teenage High School Dropouts: 13.4%

Coming in as the tenth dumbest city in Arizona is Globe, which also has the (dis)honor of being the third most dangerous city in the state.

Mining is the main industry in Globe, so it’s understandable that a higher percentage of adults don’t have high school degrees than the state’s average.

But the dropout rate of 13.4% is much higher than the state average, and may mean that Globe is in for an equally stupid future.

Putting a dunce cap on our analysis

If you’re measuring the locations in Arizona where there are a high number of teenage dropouts and adults who never received a formal education, this is an accurate list.

Wondering which places are the smartest in Arizona? Wonder no more! The five smartest cities, in order are Oro Valley, Sedona, Paradise Valley, Sahuarita and Queen Creek.

Other notable cities: Arizona’s capital, Phoenix, is the 14th dumbest city in the state, with 19.1% of adult residents not having a GED and a 7.6% teenage high school dropout rate.

Tucson is near the middle of the pack in terms of intelligence, ranking as the 27th dumbest city in Arizona of the 59 cities we analyzed.

Mesa was close behind Tucson, ranking as the 31st dumbest city in the state, with a 5.4% dropout rate and 12.6% of adult residents not having a high school degree.

Detailed List Of Dumbest Cities In Arizona

City Rank Population Adults Without High School Diploma Teenage High School Drop Outs
Eloy 1 17,062 38.6% 31.8%
South Tucson 2 5,675 42.5% 20.8%
Florence 3 26,513 26.1% 38.1%
Tolleson 4 6,707 39.4% 18.3%
Coolidge 5 12,058 21.7% 23.1%
Guadalupe 6 5,892 39.8% 11.6%
Winslow 7 9,570 20.8% 20.2%
Page 8 7,374 16.8% 21.3%
Nogales 9 20,699 35.3% 7.9%
Globe 10 7,463 18.4% 13.4%
Bullhead City 11 39,480 17.9% 13.4%
El Mirage 12 32,600 19.4% 10.9%
Camp Verde 13 10,965 14.8% 20.4%
Phoenix 14 1,490,758 19.2% 7.6%
Avondale 15 77,912 21.8% 5.6%
Douglas 16 17,137 31.3% 5.3%
San Luis 17 30,139 55.4% 3.9%
Bisbee 18 5,475 11.5% 27.8%
Yuma 19 93,078 21.9% 5.2%
Cottonwood 20 11,358 15.0% 8.0%
Holbrook 21 5,003 12.3% 15.3%
Apache Junction 22 36,965 14.3% 10.6%
Buckeye 23 54,927 16.5% 6.9%
Chino Valley 24 10,879 12.6% 12.0%
Kingman 25 28,381 13.7% 10.4%
Show Low 26 10,754 10.7% 14.2%
Tucson 27 525,031 15.8% 5.6%
Somerton 28 14,679 50.4% 0.0%
Glendale 29 231,978 16.7% 4.7%
Casa Grande 30 50,316 14.4% 5.1%
Mesa 31 452,091 12.6% 5.4%
Youn 32 6,299 17.3% 0.0%
Maricopa 33 45,388 7.9% 7.2%
Fountain Hills 34 23,051 2.9% 12.7%
Prescott Valley 35 39,575 10.5% 3.9%
Safford 36 9,574 12.8% 1.0%
Sierra Vista 37 45,365 7.0% 5.7%
Cave Creek 38 5,014 4.3% 7.5%
Goodyear 39 70,148 8.6% 3.9%
Wickenburg 40 6,629 11.5% 1.5%
Benson 41 5,075 13.2% 0.0%
Payson 42 15,234 11.1% 1.5%
Tempe 43 166,975 9.4% 2.3%
Prescott 44 40,130 7.4% 4.9%
Chandler 45 245,231 8.6% 3.8%
Peoria 46 160,231 8.4% 3.8%
Flagstaff 47 67,419 8.8% 2.2%
Lake Havasu City 48 52,827 10.8% 0.5%
Surprise 49 121,648 7.3% 3.8%
Snowflake 50 5,595 9.1% 0.0%
Gilbert 51 223,131 4.5% 2.1%
Litchfield Park 52 5,122 8.1% 0.0%
Scottsdale 53 223,519 3.8% 2.9%
Marana 54 37,028 4.7% 0.6%
Queen Creek 55 28,529 4.0% 1.3%
Sahuarita 56 26,441 4.9% 0.0%
Paradise Valley 57 13,243 2.5% 1.4%
Sedona 58 10,092 4.5% 0.0%
Oro Valley 59 41,493 2.4% 0.6%

8 thoughts on “These Are The 10 Dumbest Cities In Arizona

  1. I didn’t see my beloved Casa Grande. Obviously, we must hopefully rank as one of the smarter cities. Where do we rank overall?

  2. Your misuse of statistics to rate communities as dumb or dumber is both reprehensible and dishonest. For example if all of the residents of every community had diploma rates of 91 to 92% and dropout rates of 0% to .1% you would still give the cities a judgemental rating of dumb to dumbest based on the cold hard math when in fact they could conceivably be the smartest places anywhere to live.
    Also some of those towns are pretty small and “might” have a senior class average size of 5 for the last century. Then one year a student dropped out because he contacted the dengue plague and was unable to continue. The next year he came back to school and graduated 1st in his class. Yet, due to the small sample size, on the year he dropped out the dropout rate went to 20%. One outlier and your judgemental rating as dumb to some power of x suddenly increases more than exponentially. Worse, it will take several centuries of perfect dropout rates to reduce the average rate to a really low rate again that will still be much larger than the previous rate. How much bigger is .01% than 0%. It is incalculably larger. You should not be publishing any results of you deductions because you are not smart enough to detect outliers and other phenomena that must be accounted for. Now I admit that I’m being a bit harsh in saying so since the above analysis was in fact a fictional example created to illustrate the weakness of your judgements by not identifying and disclosing data outliers and other factors that would “color” your judgements. Back to statistics 101 with you.
    Also, your initial premises is shaky by asserting an unsupported opinion that the only way to measure the value of a place is by measuring the intellectual accomplishments of its denizens. But it takes more than academic achievement nto build a society. It takes brick makers and layers, stone masons, pottery makers,farmers and fig prickers to name a few.You get the idea. Without these trades we’d each have to do these things for ourselves. Whether a singer of songs or a maker of thongs we all work together to build our societies and each persons contribution is important because without it we’d each have to do whatever it is for ourselves or do without..

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