Mississippi might be known as the Hospitality State, but that doesn’t mean they’re big on brains.
In fact, a recent study by The Washington Post found that Mississippi is the third dumbest state in America, right between Alabama and Nevada.,
A big factor in why Mississippi scored so poorly in their study is the atrocious rate of college graduates, which is the second lowest in the US.
Well, you can’t go to college if you haven’t finished high school, so the cities on this list are a major reason why Mississippi rates as a pretty dumb state.
After crunching the numbers, we came up with this list of the ten dumbest cities in the Magnolia State:
- Forest (Photos)
- Aberdeen (Photos)
- Laurel (Photos)
- Columbia (Photos)
- Greenwood (Photos)
- Mccomb (Photos)
- Kosciusko (Photos)
- Greenville (Photos)
- Columbus (Photos)
- Yazoo City (Photos)
For more Mississippi reading, check out:
How we determined the dumbest cities in the Magnolia 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 Mississippi:
- % 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 61 cities in Mississippi 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: 31.3%
Teenage High School Dropouts: 14.4%
Located in central Mississippi, Forest takes the crown as the dumbest city in Mississippi, with the highest rate of uneducated adults anywhere in the state and the third highest rate of teenage high school dropouts.
About 1 in 3 adults living in Forest never finished high school, which is what really contributes the most to Forest’s dumb-score.
The teenage high school dropout rate is also nearly three times higher than other Mississippi cities with populations above 5,000, with 14.4% of high school students opting out of basic education.
Adults Without High School Diploma: 30.3%
Teenage High School Dropouts: 13.7%
Although Aberdeen is the smallest city on this list, it used to be the second most populous city in Mississippi; now it’s just the second dumbest.
30.3% of Aberdeen residents over the age of 25 don’t have a GED, the second highest rate in the second dumbest state in America.
On top of that, the teenage high school dropout rate is 13.7%, the fourth worst rate in Mississippi, making Aberdeen a dumb city overall.
Adults Without High School Diploma: 28.4%
Teenage High School Dropouts: 20.3%
To be fair, Laurel is the home to Mississippi’s oldest art museum, so it isn’t like it’s an anti-intellectual city; it’s just a seriously under-educated one.
Laurel has the second highest rate of teenage high school dropouts in the state, with more than 2 in 10 students deciding that basic education isn’t super important.
That might have something to do with the fact that the older generation in Laurel didn’t find education all that necessary either, with 28.4% of Laurel’s adult population lacking a GED.
Adults Without High School Diploma: 29.0%
Teenage High School Dropouts: 12.4%
Located in southern Mississippi, Columbia is the fourth dumbest city in Mississippi overall, with ungood scores in both categories (as someone in Columbia might say).
Nearly 3 in 10 adults you meet in Columbia never finished high school, which is a full 12% higher than the state average for cities with populations over 5,000.
Add to that a high school dropout rate more than twice as high as the state average, and you’ve got yourself a dimwitted city.
Adults Without High School Diploma: 24.8%
Teenage High School Dropouts: 9.0%
Greenwood’s population has been steadily declining since the 80’s and, based on the city’s position on this list, it seems that it’s all the smart folks who left.
Roughly a quarter of Greenwood’s adult population lacks a GED and the teenage high school dropout rate is 9%, so both generations contribute to Greenwood’s dumbness.
Adults Without High School Diploma: 26.0%
Teenage High School Dropouts: 7.0%
Located 80 miles south of Jackson, McComb is the birthplace of Britney Spears, so the city’s position as the sixth dumbest place in Mississippi makes sense.
McComb has the seventh highest rate of GED-less adults in the state, with more than 1 in 4 adult residents lacking a high school education.
The teenage dropout rate is only 1.6% higher than the average for Mississippi cities with populations over 5,000, but that isn’t really cause for celebration in this dumb city.
Adults Without High School Diploma: 23.9%
Teenage High School Dropouts: 8.1%
Located in central Mississippi, Kosciusko is the seventh dumbest city overall in Mississippi.
Though the city doesn’t rank in the top ten for either category, a cumulatively bad score lands it on this list.
23.9% of Kosciusko residents over the age of 25 don’t have a high school diploma, and 8 of every 100 teenagers drops out of high school each year, so neither generation brings a whole lot to the table intellectually.
Adults Without High School Diploma: 22.0%
Teenage High School Dropouts: 9.4%
The largest city on this list, Greenville is nicknamed the Heart & Soul of the Delta, but that doesn’t mean the city has a lot of brains.
In fact, it’s the eighth dumbest city in Mississippi, with 5% more adults lacking a high school degree than the state average.
The teenage high school dropout rate is also the eleventh worst in the state and 4% higher than the state average, with roughly 19 of every 200 high school students dropping out each year.
Adults Without High School Diploma: 20.4%
Teenage High School Dropouts: 11.9%
Columbus ranks as the ninth dumbest city in Mississippi mostly because of its horrific teenage high school dropout rate, the eighth worst in the state.
More than twice as many teenagers drop out of high school in Columbus as in the rest of Mississippi, with nearly 12% of high schoolers deciding the basic education isn’t all that important.
On top of that, more than 1 in 5 adults living in Columbus don’t have a high school degree, making the city pretty dumb overall.
10. Yazoo City
Adults Without High School Diploma: 24.5%
Teenage High School Dropouts: 6.1%
Yazoo City ranks as the tenth dumbest city overall in Mississippi, with below average scores in both categories.
Nearly a quarter of Yazoo City’s residents over the age of 25 never completed high school, which is what really contributes to the city’s position on this list.
The teenage high school dropout rate is only slightly worse than the state average, but it’s still enough to make Yazoo City rank as one of the dumbest cities in Mississippi.
Putting a dunce cap on our analysis
If you’re measuring the locations in Mississippi 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 smartest cities in Mississippi are, in order: Diamondhead, Madison, Oxford, Ocean Springs, and Starkville. These cities are spread out all over the state, so there’s no correlation between geography and intelligence in Mississippi.
Other notable cities: Mississippi’s capital, Jackson, ranks as the 15th dumbest city in the state overall, with 16.4% of adults lacking a GED and a teenage high school dropout rate of 7.5%.
Tupelo ranks just a smidge dumber than Jackson, coming in as the 14th dumbest city in Mississippi, with a much higher dropout rate (12.4%) than Jackson, but a more educated adult population than the capital.
Gulfport ranks as the 21st dumbest city in the state, with an above average educated adult population and a below average teenage high school dropout rate.
Detailed List Of Dumbest Cities In Mississippi
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