Georgia is a pretty great state with some wonderfully friendly and hospitable people.
But when it comes to brains, Georgia is behind the rest of the nation. In fact, a recent Washington Post study found it to be the 13th dumbest state in America, with the 11th lowest average IQ.
That doesn’t mean every single place in Georgia is filled to the brim with blockheads. But, by looking at the data, we can see which Georgian cities are contributing to the state’s intelligence deficit the most.
After crunching the numbers, we came up with this list of the ten dumbest cities in the Peach State:
- Cedartown (Photos)
- Cairo (Photos)
- Chamblee (Photos)
- Dalton (Photos)
- Griffin (Photos)
- Rome (Photos)
- Sylvester (Photos)
- Calhoun (Photos)
- Doraville (Photos)
- Norcross (Photos)
But you don’t have to be dumb — you can always live in one of the best places in Georgia. Or continue on to learn why these places aren’t the brightest peaches that Georgia has to offer.
How we determined the dumbest cities in the Peach 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 Georgia:
- % 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 127 cities in Georgia to rank. We also looked at the graduation rates of the entire population, not the current rates for high schoolers.
Adults Without High School Diploma: 38.7%
Teenage High School Dropouts: 15.2%
Located in northwestern Georgia, Cedartown ranks as the dumbest city in the state, with both a large undereducated adult population and a youth population that doesn’t think school is very cool either.
Cedartown has the second highest proportion of adults without high school degrees in the state, with nearly 4 in 10 residents over the age of 25 having never completed basic education.
Cedartown’s high school dropout rate of 15.2% is also more than double the state average for cities with populations greater than 5,000.
With so many uneducated adults and an incredibly high rate of teenage dropouts, Cedartown seems secure in its position as the dumbest city in Georgia.
Adults Without High School Diploma: 31.3%
Teenage High School Dropouts: 22.2%
Cairo ranks as the second dumbest city in Georgia with incredibly bad scores in both categories.
31.3% of Cairo’s adult population never completed high school, which, in not-so-bright Georgia, only ranks as the 8th worst in the state for cities with populations above 5,000.
However, the real stupidity problem ailing Cairo is the super high rate of teenage high school dropouts (the second highest in the state), with 22 out of every 100 students dropping out each year.
In fairness, with a football team called “the Syrupmakers,” dropping out seems a bit more understandable.
Adults Without High School Diploma: 27.1%
Teenage High School Dropouts: 41.8%
Located just northeast of Atlanta, Chamblee’s motto is “A City on the Right Track,” which is a throwback to its status as a 20th century railroad community.
The motto is a lie in terms of education though, since Chamblee has the highest rate of high school dropouts in all of Georgia, with a whopping 41.8% of students dropping out of basic education.
To be fair, 25% of people under the age of 18 live below the poverty line, so school may not be a priority, but either way, the next generation isn’t positioning itself to improve its economic situation by leaving school so young.
Adults Without High School Diploma: 36.3%
Teenage High School Dropouts: 12.7%
Located in northwestern Georgia (like many cities on this list), Dalton is the fourth dumbest city in Georgia.
A staggeringly high 36.3% of Dalton’s adult population doesn’t have a GED, which is the fourth highest rate in Georgia and more than twice as high as the state’s average.
On top of that, the dropout rate is nearly double the state average for cities with populations over 5,000, so Dalton seems like it’s going to continue to be dumber than its Georgian peers.
Adults Without High School Diploma: 26.0%
Teenage High School Dropouts: 16.8%
A southern suburb of Atlanta, Griffin ranks as the fifth dumbest city in Georgia with the fifth highest rate of teenage high school dropouts in the state.
About 17 students drop out for every 100, which is about three times higher than the state average. That means a large portion of the upcoming generation will be unqualified for a number of jobs.
Add to that the fact that more than a quarter of adults in Griffin never completed high school, and you’ve got yourself one of the dumbest cities in Georgia.
Adults Without High School Diploma: 27.4%
Teenage High School Dropouts: 12.1%
Located at the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains, Rome is the largest city in northwestern Georgia, the apparent epicenter of the state’s stupidity.
27.4% of Rome’s adult residents never earned a high school diploma, which is a full 10% higher than the average for Georgian cities with populations over 5,000.
While Rome is home to four colleges, 12.1% of the city’s high school students drop out each year, meaning they won’t be able to take advantage of these educational opportunities.
Adults Without High School Diploma: 28.3%
Teenage High School Dropouts: 10.9%
Sylvester’s motto is “Small Town. Big Heart.” An alteration to that might read: “Small Town. Big Heart. Small Brain.”
Sylvester is indeed the smallest city to make the dumb-cut, with 28.3% of the city’s adult population having never earned their GED.
The dropout rate of 10.9% is also much worse than the state’s average, leaving us to see Sylvester in a dim light.
Adults Without High School Diploma: 33.3%
Teenage High School Dropouts: 8.6%
Another northwest Georgian city, Calhoun has one of the highest education-less adult populations in the state.
For every three adults you meet in Calhoun, one of them never completed high school, meaning it isn’t the best city to get a book club started in.
Adding to Calhoun’s stupid-points is the fact that 17 out of every 200 students drop out of high school.
Adults Without High School Diploma: 39.5%
Teenage High School Dropouts: 7.0%
A northeastern suburb of Atlanta, Doraville has the highest rate of adults without GEDs in all of Georgia.
An incredibly high 39.5% of Doraville’s population over the age of 25 never completed the basic education offered in high school, which is well over twice as high as the state’s average.
On the “bright” side, the dropout rate in Doraville is only 0.6% higher than the state average for cities with populations over 5,000, so in years to come, Doraville’s stupidity might be phased out.
Adults Without High School Diploma: 29.4%
Teenage High School Dropouts: 8.9%
Located just northeast of Doraville, Norcross is the last place to make the list of dumbest cities in Georgia.
Nearly 3 in 10 adults in Norcross never completed high school, which is the ninth highest rate in the state.
On top of that, 9 out of every 100 teenage high school students drops out each year, which means Norcross isn’t poised to climb out of the stupid hole any time soon.
Putting a dunce cap on our analysis
If you’re measuring the locations in Georgia where there are a high number of teenage dropouts and adults who never received a formal education, this is an accurate list.
If you’re curious, the five smartest cities in Georgia with populations greater than 5,000 are, in order: Pooler, Alpharetta, Suwanee, Kennesaw, St. Mary’s.
Alpharetta, Suwanee, and Kennesaw are all suburbs north of Atlanta, while Pooler and St. Mary’s are located in the southeastern part of the Georgia.
Other notable cities: Atlanta ranked as the 36th smartest city out of the 127 cities we looked at data for, with a dropout rate of 4.8% and only 11.6% of adults not having a GED.
Savannah is in the middle of the pack in terms of intelligence, ranking as the 62nd dumbest city in Georgia with a dropout rate of 8.5% and 14.4% of adults not having a GED.
We also wrote about the 10 drunkest cities in Georgia if you want another interesting read. Click here to read it.
Detailed List Of Dumbest Cities In Georgia
|Augusta-Richmond County consolidated government (balance)||41|
|Cusseta-Chattahoochee County unified government||84|
|Athens-Clarke County unified government (balance)||100|