These Are The 10 Dumbest Cities In Michigan


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

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According to a recent Washington Post study that ranked the intelligence of all 50 states, Michigan is the 21st smartest state in America – not too great, but not too bad either.

But some of Michigan’s cities are making the state seem dumber than it really is.

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

  1. Benton Harbor (Photos)
  2. Pontiac (Photos)
  3. Lincoln Park (Photos)
  4. Hamtramck (Photos)
  5. Muskegon Heights
  6. Detroit (Photos)
  7. Taylor (Photos)
  8. Mount Clemens (Photos)
  9. Jackson (Photos)
  10. Saginaw (Photos)
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How we determined the dumbest cities in the Wolverine 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 Michigan:

  • % 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 149 cities in Michigan to rank. We also looked at the graduation rates of the entire population, not the current rates for high schoolers.

1. Benton Harbor

Dumbest Michigan

Population: 10,056
Adults Without High School Diploma: 28.3%
Teenage High School Dropouts: 17.0%

Located in the southwestern part of Michigan, Benton Harbor unfortunately ranks as the dumbest city overall in the state.

Benton Harbor has the second highest rate of uneducated adults in Michigan, with 28.3% of residents over the age of 25 lacking a high school degree.

The up-and-coming generation also heavily contributes to Benton Harbor’s #1 ranking; with 17% of teenagers dropping out of high school each year, Benton Harbor’s dropout rate is more than four times higher than the average for Michigan cities with populations over 5,000.

2. Pontiac

Dumbest Michigan

Population: 59,658
Adults Without High School Diploma: 23.0%
Teenage High School Dropouts: 14.7%

Located just 30 miles north-northwest of Detroit, Pontiac’s economy used to be based on manufacturing cars, but the population and the economy have been dwindling since the 1980’s.

Apparently a lot of the intelligence has also left the city, as Pontiac ranks as the second dumbest place in all of Michigan.

23% of adults living in Pontiac lack a GED, which is more than twice as high as the state average.

Teenagers in Pontiac are also dropping out of high school at more than triple the rate as the rest of Michigan, with nearly 15 of every 100 Pontiac high schoolers opting out of basic education.

3. Lincoln Park

Dumbest Michigan

Population: 37,648
Adults Without High School Diploma: 19.8%
Teenage High School Dropouts: 11.3%

This city tried so hard and got so far, but in the end it didn’t even matter; Lincoln Park is still the third dumbest city in Michigan.

Located just southwest of Detroit, Lincoln Park has both the eleventh highest rate of uneducated adults and the 11th most teenage high school dropouts in the state, making it a fairly dumb city overall.

About 2 in 10 of Lincoln Park’s adult residents lack a high school diploma and, even more worrisome, 11.3% of the city’s teenagers are dropping out of high school each year.

4. Hamtramck

Dumbest Michigan

Population: 22,256
Adults Without High School Diploma: 32.7%
Teenage High School Dropouts: 9.4%

Hamtramck is almost completely surrounded by Detroit, which ranks a little lower on this list.

The city has the highest rate of uneducated adults anywhere in Michigan, with just about 1 in 3 residents over the age of 25 lacking a high school degree.

While the current dropout rate for Hamtramck’s teens isn’t as bad as the other cities in the top five, it’s still more than twice as high as the state average.

5. Muskegon Heights

Dumbest Michigan

Source: Public Domain

Population: 10,807
Adults Without High School Diploma: 19.1%
Teenage High School Dropouts: 11.3%

Located in the west-central part of Michigan, Muskegon Heights ranks as the fifth dumbest city in the state.

19.1% of adults living in Muskegon Heights lack a GED, which is part of the reason it ranks so high.

The bigger factor, though, is the fact that 11.3% of the city’s teenagers are dropping out of school each year, which is just about three times higher than the state average.

6. Detroit

Dumbest Michigan

Population: 695,437
Adults Without High School Diploma: 22.2%
Teenage High School Dropouts: 9.5%

Everyone knows Detroit has had plenty of issues in recent years; bankruptcy and a very rapid exodus of people leaving the city have left the city in a shaky position.

So it’s no surprise that Detroit hasn’t been doing great in terms of education either; the city has the seventh highest rate of uneducated adults in Michigan, with 22.2% of residents over the age of 25 lacking a high school diploma.

On top of that, the current high school dropout rate for teens in 9.5%, well worse than twice as bad as the state average.

7. Taylor

Dumbest Michigan

Population: 62,331
Adults Without High School Diploma: 16.9%
Teenage High School Dropouts: 12.5%

Just a short drive southwest of Detroit, Taylor is the seventh dumbest city in the state of Michigan.

Taylor’s high school dropout rate for teenagers is even worse than Detroit’s. With 12.5% of high school students dropping out each year, Taylor’s dropout rate more than triples the state average and ranks as the ninth highest rate in Michigan.

Also, about 17 of every 100 adults living in Taylor never completed high school, which gives the city a pretty poor smartness score overall.

8. Mount Clemens

Dumbest Michigan

Source: Public domain

Population: 16,345
Adults Without High School Diploma: 15.4%
Teenage High School Dropouts: 18.0%

Located roughly 25 miles northeast of Detroit, Mount Clemens has the fourth highest teenage high school dropout rate in Michigan.

The city’s dropout rate is more than quadruple the state average, with 18 of every 100 teenagers opting out of basic education each year.

The rate of uneducated adults is also 4.6% higher in Mount Clemens than the Michigan average, but it’s still the lowest rate on this list.

9. Jackson

Dumbest Michigan

Population: 33,317
Adults Without High School Diploma: 15.8%
Teenage High School Dropouts: 9.8%

Jackson, a city about 35 miles south Lansing and 40 miles west of Ann Arbor, ranks as the ninth dumbest city in Michigan.

Just about 16 of every 100 adults living in Jackson lack a GED, and about 1 in 10 teenagers drop out of high school in Jackson each year.

10. Saginaw

Dumbest Michigan

Population: 50,700
Adults Without High School Diploma: 21.3%
Teenage High School Dropouts: 6.7%

Saginaw is the least stupid city to make this list.

Saginaw does have the lowest teenage high school dropout rate on this list, ranking 29th worst out of the 149 Michigan cities we looked at data for.

But in terms of uneducated adults, Saginaw has the ninth highest rate in the state, with 21.3% of residents over the age of 25 lacking a high school education.

Putting a dunce cap on our analysis

If you’re measuring the locations in Michigan 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, here are the five smartest cities in Michigan, in order: Birmingham, Huntington, Rochester, Beverly Hills, and Grosse Pointe Woods.

All five of these cities are suburbs of Detroit. The first four cities are located in Oakland County, and Grosse Pointe Woods is in Wayne County. So that’s where you want to head if you’re looking for the intellectual crowd in Michigan.

Other notable cities: Michigan’s capital, Lansing, ranked as the 23rd dumbest city in the state, with a teenage high school dropout rate 2.5 times worse than the state average.

Grand Rapids was close behind Lansing, ranking as the 25th dumbest city in Michigan with a much lower teenage dropout rate than the capital, but a higher rate of uneducated adult residents.

Warren ranked as the 27th dumbest city, and Flint ranked as the 16th dumbest city in the state.

Ann Arbor ranked as the 13th smartest city in the state.

Detailed List Of Dumbest Cities In Michigan

City Rank Population Adults Without High School Diploma Teenage High School Dropouts
Benton Harbor 1 10,056 28.3% 17.0%
Pontiac 2 59,658 23.0% 14.7%
Lincoln Park 3 37,648 19.8% 11.3%
Hamtramck 4 22,256 32.7% 9.4%
Muskegon Heights 5 10,807 19.1% 11.3%
Detroit 6 695,437 22.2% 9.5%
Taylor 7 62,331 16.9% 12.5%
Mount Clemens 8 16,345 15.4% 18.0%
Jackson 9 33,317 15.8% 9.8%
Saginaw 10 50,700 21.3% 6.7%
Highland Park 11 10,951 26.3% 6.0%
Lapeer 12 8,801 12.0% 24.6%
Roseville 13 47,408 14.5% 11.3%
Ionia 14 11,388 15.5% 8.6%
Wayne 15 17,314 14.8% 10.2%
Flint 16 100,569 17.4% 6.5%
St. Louis 17 7,347 17.5% 6.3%
Zeeland 18 5,566 11.7% 18.1%
Madison Heights 19 30,028 15.5% 7.9%
Hazel Park 20 16,532 19.3% 5.5%
Monroe 21 20,455 11.3% 17.4%
Bay City 22 34,578 13.9% 9.5%
Lansing 23 114,382 13.2% 10.0%
Muskegon 24 37,822 16.8% 5.9%
Grand Rapids 25 190,739 15.5% 6.2%
Inkster 26 25,056 17.2% 4.7%
River Rouge 27 7,761 26.7% 3.1%
Warren 28 134,398 16.1% 4.6%
Holly 29 6,142 11.3% 10.9%
Ecorse 30 9,401 27.3% 3.0%
Greenville 31 8,434 14.3% 6.5%
Battle Creek 32 51,963 11.6% 8.6%
Garden City 33 27,356 11.3% 9.6%
Wyoming 34 73,434 15.7% 4.3%
Port Huron 35 29,534 12.7% 6.6%
Adrian 36 21,008 17.0% 3.3%
Westland 37 83,188 12.3% 6.5%
Dearborn 38 96,739 18.8% 2.8%
Dearborn Heights 39 57,063 14.2% 4.6%
Belding 40 5,764 18.3% 2.6%
Harper Woods 41 14,058 13.1% 5.7%
Eastpointe 42 32,526 15.6% 3.2%
Eaton Rapids 43 5,221 9.5% 13.2%
Allegan 44 5,030 12.9% 4.7%
Niles 45 11,479 17.0% 2.4%
Holland 46 33,342 14.8% 3.3%
Melvindale 47 10,584 21.9% 1.4%
Cadillac 48 10,306 10.1% 8.4%
Southgate 49 29,710 12.5% 4.3%
Alpena 50 10,336 11.7% 4.1%
St. Johns 51 7,933 8.2% 11.4%
Escanaba 52 12,529 10.8% 5.7%
Sterling Heights 53 130,604 13.3% 2.8%
Sturgis 54 10,923 20.2% 0.0%
Howell 55 9,543 9.0% 7.4%
Springfield 56 5,231 18.6% 0.0%
Hudsonville 57 7,217 11.7% 3.2%
Hillsdale 58 8,222 10.9% 4.6%
Hastings 59 7,313 11.0% 4.2%
Center Line 60 8,279 16.1% 0.3%
Sault Ste. Marie 61 14,121 11.0% 3.9%
Davison 62 5,085 7.9% 8.5%
Manistee 63 6,160 8.4% 7.3%
Petoskey 64 5,705 4.8% 19.1%
Richmond 65 5,806 15.5% 0.0%
Allen Park 66 27,869 9.8% 4.4%
Ludington 67 8,061 8.8% 5.9%
Romulus 68 23,721 13.8% 1.3%
Three Rivers 69 7,765 14.0% 0.9%
Wyandotte 70 25,470 11.7% 1.8%
Coldwater 71 10,863 14.9% 0.0%
Albion 72 8,416 14.7% 0.0%
Mason 73 8,266 8.4% 5.9%
Riverview 74 12,347 11.0% 2.7%
St. Clair Shores 75 59,865 8.5% 5.5%
Trenton 76 18,635 9.7% 3.8%
Big Rapids 77 10,543 11.6% 1.8%
Burton 78 29,429 11.2% 2.1%
Flat Rock 79 9,859 9.5% 4.1%
Kalamazoo 80 75,190 10.5% 2.5%
Kentwood 81 49,736 9.7% 3.0%
Fraser 82 14,544 10.5% 1.9%
Owosso 83 14,922 9.7% 2.9%
Dowagiac 84 5,822 12.1% 0.0%
Oak Park 85 29,622 8.3% 4.2%
Charlotte 86 9,053 9.9% 2.2%
Norton Shores 87 23,941 8.4% 3.6%
Swartz Creek 88 5,664 11.2% 0.0%
Walled Lake 89 7,065 11.0% 0.0%
Southfield 90 72,480 7.2% 3.7%
Alma 91 9,289 10.6% 0.0%
Marysville 92 9,842 8.6% 1.8%
Ypsilanti 93 19,844 10.1% 0.4%
Fenton 94 11,601 10.4% 0.0%
Ironwood 95 5,237 10.3% 0.0%
Kingsford 96 5,115 6.4% 3.2%
Auburn Hills 97 21,639 9.2% 0.9%
Menominee 98 8,516 9.7% 0.0%
St. Joseph 99 8,310 4.9% 4.0%
Rockford 100 5,876 5.1% 3.4%
Livonia 101 95,888 6.2% 2.7%
St. Clair 102 5,428 8.6% 0.0%
Milford 103 6,325 7.1% 1.8%
Farmington 104 10,472 4.1% 3.8%
Farmington Hills 105 80,682 5.4% 2.3%
Grandville 106 15,613 7.8% 0.5%
Iron Mountain 107 7,593 8.2% 0.0%
Novi 108 56,887 5.1% 2.4%
Royal Oak 109 58,382 4.2% 3.2%
Clawson 110 11,943 6.0% 1.6%
Houghton 111 7,897 6.8% 1.0%
Mount Pleasant 112 26,095 7.4% 0.3%
South Lyon 113 11,514 7.8% 0.0%
Ferndale 114 20,102 5.9% 1.6%
Walker 115 24,015 7.4% 0.0%
Tecumseh 116 8,407 7.3% 0.0%
Troy 117 82,106 6.3% 1.1%
Chelsea 118 5,085 7.3% 0.0%
Portage 119 47,137 4.5% 2.4%
Grand Haven 120 10,687 7.2% 0.0%
Marquette 121 21,430 7.1% 0.1%
Milan 122 5,724 5.8% 1.1%
New Baltimore 123 12,144 6.7% 0.0%
Rochester Hills 124 72,195 4.5% 1.8%
Midland 125 42,067 5.5% 1.0%
Traverse City 126 15,006 5.0% 1.3%
Wixom 127 13,640 6.2% 0.0%
Berkley 128 15,136 4.0% 1.8%
Flushing 129 8,252 6.0% 0.0%
Woodhaven 130 12,747 4.3% 1.4%
Marshall 131 7,054 5.8% 0.0%
East Grand Rapids 132 10,999 1.7% 2.0%
Brighton 133 7,562 4.8% 0.0%
Ishpeming 134 6,514 4.8% 0.0%
Grand Blanc 135 8,147 4.6% 0.0%
Ann Arbor 136 115,985 3.6% 0.6%
Grosse Pointe 137 5,350 1.6% 1.5%
Plymouth 138 9,029 4.3% 0.0%
East Lansing 139 48,611 3.4% 0.4%
Grosse Pointe Park 140 11,412 3.2% 0.0%
Grand Ledge 141 7,779 3.1% 0.0%
Saline 142 9,000 3.1% 0.0%
Northville 143 6,001 3.0% 0.0%
Grosse Pointe Farms 144 9,371 1.0% 0.8%
Grosse Pointe Woods 145 15,943 2.7% 0.0%
Beverly Hills 146 10,368 2.0% 0.0%
Rochester 147 12,872 1.7% 0.0%
Huntington Woods 148 6,310 1.0% 0.0%
Birmingham 149 20,382 0.6% 0.0%

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4 thoughts on “These Are The 10 Dumbest Cities In Michigan

    1. I agree. Went to both. I also went to metro detroit schools. Troy schools is far more superior then any school I’ve ever been in.

  1. Your criteria should be test scores and gpa’s not drop outs and people without diplomas. Your artical is, in my opinion, bs. You have no idea how smart someone is based on such weak material…smh. Troll

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