The 10 Dumbest Places In Missouri For 2023

The dumbest places in Missouri are Bonne Terre and Jennings for 2023 based on Saturday Night Science.

The unfortunate fact of the matter is that some places in the Show Me State have a larger percent of their population that never graduated from high school.

While the emphasis on going to college might be overblown, the fact is that not graduating from high school puts you at a significant disadvantage on average. Educational attainment might not be the best way to measure one person’s intelligence, but it does shine a light on the state.

We will use Saturday Night Science to determine what places in Missouri have the highest percentage of adults without a high school degree.

A recent study we published found that Missouri is actually the 27th smartest state in the United States, with an average IQ of 99.

But that doesn’t mean that a few cities in Missouri are a bit slower than others due to a lack of basic education.

After crunching the numbers, we ranked the ten dumbest cities in the Show Me State.

Don’t freak out.

Some places are just smarter than others, but that says nothing about the character of the people living there. It’s another data point a real estate agent would never tell you.

For this ranking, we only looked at cities with populations greater than 5,000, leaving us 125 cities in Missouri to rank. You can take a look at the data below.

For more Missouri reading, check out:

Table Of Contents: Top Ten | Methodology | Summary | Table

The 10 Dumbest Places In Missouri For 2023

Bonne Terre, MO

Source: Wikipedia User Jon Roanhaus | CC BY-SA 4.0
Overall SnackAbility

Population: 6,772
% Adult High School Dropout: 23.0%
% Highly Educated: 6.0%
More on Bonne Terre:  Cost Of Living | Crime Report

Jennings, MO

Source: Wikipedia User User:LittletT889 | CC BY-SA 4.0
Overall SnackAbility

Population: 13,129
% Adult High School Dropout: 21.0%
% Highly Educated: 7.0%
More on Jennings:  Cost Of Living

Charleston, MO

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

Population: 5,184
% Adult High School Dropout: 19.0%
% Highly Educated: 9.0%
More on Charleston:  Cost Of Living | Crime Report

Caruthersville, MO

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

Population: 5,606
% Adult High School Dropout: 26.0%
% Highly Educated: 13.0%
More on Caruthersville:  Cost Of Living | Crime Report

Poplar Bluff, MO

Source: Wikipedia User Michael Gäbler | CC BY-SA 3.0
Overall SnackAbility

Population: 16,318
% Adult High School Dropout: 18.0%
% Highly Educated: 12.0%
More on Poplar Bluff:  Cost Of Living | Crime Report

Dexter, MO

Source: Wikipedia User Skye Marthaler | CC BY-SA 3.0
Overall SnackAbility

Population: 7,947
% Adult High School Dropout: 19.0%
% Highly Educated: 13.0%
More on Dexter:  Cost Of Living | Crime Report

Aurora, MO

Source: Wikipedia User Johnston9494 | CC BY-SA 4.0
Overall SnackAbility

Population: 7,268
% Adult High School Dropout: 17.0%
% Highly Educated: 13.0%
More on Aurora:  Cost Of Living | Crime Report

Overall SnackAbility

Population: 6,429
% Adult High School Dropout: 15.0%
% Highly Educated: 14.0%
More on De Soto:  Cost Of Living | Crime Report

Monett, MO

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

Population: 9,512
% Adult High School Dropout: 15.0%
% Highly Educated: 14.0%
More on Monett:  Cost Of Living | Crime Report

Warrenton, MO

Source: Wikipedia User Paul Sableman | CC BY 2.0
Overall SnackAbility

Population: 8,450
% Adult High School Dropout: 14.0%
% Highly Educated: 13.0%
More on Warrenton:  Cost Of Living | Crime Report

Methodology: How we determined the dumbest cities in the Show Me State

We realize that formal education is only part of it when it comes to being intelligent, but on the other hand, 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 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 Missouri:

  • % of the city’s population with less than a high school education (Age 25+)
  • % of city’s population with a college degree (Age 25+)

We got the data from the U.S. Census 2017-2021 American Community Survey.

Then, our algorithm generates a rank for each place in these categories. After crunching all the numbers, a ranking of the cities in Missouri from dumbest to brightest.

For this ranking, we used every Missouri city with at least 5,000 residents. We updated this article for 2023, and it’s our tenth time ranking the dumbest cities in Missouri.

There You Have It – Now That You’re Asleep

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

If you’re also curious enough, here are the smartest places in Missouri, according to science:

  1. Ladue
  2. Glendale
  3. Des Peres

For more Missouri reading, check out:

Detailed List Of The Dumbest Cities In Missouri For 2023

Rank City Population
1 Bonne Terre, MO 6,772
2 Jennings, MO 13,129
3 Charleston, MO 5,184
4 Caruthersville, MO 5,606
5 Poplar Bluff, MO 16,318
6 Dexter, MO 7,947
7 Aurora, MO 7,268
8 De Soto, MO 6,429
9 Monett, MO 9,512
10 Warrenton, MO 8,450
11 Sedalia, MO 21,696
12 Carthage, MO 15,395
13 Lebanon, MO 14,880
14 Richmond, MO 5,961
15 Mexico, MO 11,592
16 Farmington, MO 17,959
17 Cameron, MO 8,987
18 Park Hills, MO 8,708
19 Kennett, MO 10,507
20 Oak Grove, MO 8,228
21 Perryville, MO 8,482
22 Trenton, MO 5,547
23 Harrisonville, MO 10,070
24 Pacific, MO 6,898
25 Chillicothe, MO 9,253
26 Fulton, MO 12,691
27 Excelsior Springs, MO 10,595
28 St. John, MO 6,617
29 Moberly, MO 13,933
30 Berkeley, MO 8,310
31 Macon, MO 5,459
32 Ferguson, MO 18,826
33 St. Ann, MO 13,007
34 Boonville, MO 8,036
35 Hannibal, MO 17,165
36 Bellefontaine Neighbors, MO 10,702
37 Neosho, MO 12,439
38 Overland, MO 15,908
39 Clinton, MO 8,844
40 Peculiar, MO 5,559
41 Marshall, MO 13,431
42 Sullivan, MO 6,192
43 West Plains, MO 12,048
44 St. Joseph, MO 73,138
45 Branson, MO 12,579
46 Independence, MO 122,230
47 Festus, MO 12,609
48 Black Jack, MO 6,663
49 Nevada, MO 8,111
50 Union, MO 12,108
51 Troy, MO 12,463
52 Marshfield, MO 7,391
53 Grandview, MO 25,931
54 Savannah, MO 5,087
55 Pevely, MO 5,974
56 Sikeston, MO 16,054
57 Raytown, MO 29,893
58 Arnold, MO 20,808
59 St. Louis, MO 302,787
60 Odessa, MO 5,538
61 Bolivar, MO 10,718
62 Joplin, MO 51,539
63 Florissant, MO 52,382
64 Pleasant Hill, MO 8,673
65 Springfield, MO 168,603
66 Washington, MO 14,607
67 Belton, MO 23,832
68 Kirksville, MO 17,600
69 Bridgeton, MO 11,417
70 Nixa, MO 22,925
71 Willard, MO 6,233
72 Greenwood, MO 6,008
73 Hazelwood, MO 25,466
74 Cape Girardeau, MO 39,415
75 Ozark, MO 20,874
76 Republic, MO 18,313
77 Gladstone, MO 26,825
78 Grain Valley, MO 15,435
79 Blue Springs, MO 58,265
80 St. Peters, MO 57,289
81 Valley Park, MO 6,864
82 Waynesville, MO 5,336
83 Jackson, MO 15,272
84 Warrensburg, MO 19,509
85 Rolla, MO 19,949
86 Kearney, MO 10,260
87 Raymore, MO 22,722
88 Maryville, MO 11,070
89 St. Charles, MO 70,218
90 O’fallon, MO 90,802
91 St. Robert, MO 5,191
92 Liberty, MO 30,129
93 Carl Junction, MO 8,099
94 Smithville, MO 10,211
95 Columbia, MO 124,342
96 Battlefield, MO 5,957
97 Wentzville, MO 43,213
98 Lee’s Summit, MO 100,772
99 Maryland Heights, MO 28,141
100 Lake St. Louis, MO 16,665
About Nick Johnson

Nick Johnson earned his masters in Business Administration from the Drucker School At Claremont Graduate University. He has written for 39 publications across the country and ran the media relations department at Movoto, a real estate portal based in San Francisco. He has been featured in over 500 publications as an expert in real estate and as an authority on real estate trends.

Nick's the creator of the HomeSnacks YouTube channel that now has over 260,000 subscribers and is an excellent source to learn about different parts of the country.

23 thoughts on “The 10 Dumbest Places In Missouri For 2023

  1. The drop out rate quoted for Carthage Mo is entirely inaccurate. In 2014, our graduation rate was greater than 93%. If you are going to label towns as dumb, perhaps you should do some accurate research.

      1. I’ve looked all over the link you shared and I can’t seem to find the data you quoted for teenage high school dropouts ages 16-18. Could you link it directly for us to see?

        1. Because it’s ages 16-19 like it says in the article. You can create the query in American Fact Finder; it’s just specific so I can’t link directly to it. It would look something like this.

      2. You should know that the ACS stands for the “American Community Survey 5-year Estimates.” The key word being “ESTIMATES”. The data you are using is NOT from the decennial census that attempts to survey all Americans. Rather, according to the United States Census Bureau’s own website, “We randomly sample addresses in every state, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico.” Again, a key word is “RANDOMLY”. Another key word is “SAMPLE”. Also found on the US Census Bureau’s site is the following, ” The ACS . . . is a survey sent to a small percentage of our population.” The key words are “SMALL PERCENTAGE”.

        You fail to mention this fact to your readers. Many of your readers might not be aware of the difference between the 10 year census and the limited sample data taken from the ACS ESTIMATE.

    1. If you fully read the stats it says adults with hs diploma % and % of hs drop outs. Has nothing to do with % who graduated. …. only thoes who dropped out….

  2. Yea there are a lot of dumb cities in Missouri, and Iowa, and New York. It’s a reflection of our society overall. Especially when the writers of the article can’t assemble sentences.

  3. FOUL!!! Bonne Terre and Desloge (pop 5000) SHARE a High School. You took the number of dropouts from our shared High School and divided it into Bonne Terre’s population giving you an incredibly inaccurate percentage. You make it sound like almost half the kids drop out. Do your research right before posting next time!!

    1. North County High School is made up from kids from Bonne Terre, Desloge and Valle Mines area. Since the school is in Bonne Terre they are technically correct. Desloge is probably on par with Park Hills at #20.

    2. FOUL! The data DOES NOT mention “Aurora High School” as stated on the “roadsnacks website”, but rather, only the limited “civilian population 16 to 19 years.” Of course, this population could include persons who had attended schools in another community, persons who were home schooled or who had never attended school after the mandatory legal age.

    3. Frank due to your city’s lack of education our site is gonna have to assume that you are a drop out aswell and can not speak on the subject matter thanks again for your opinion.

  4. The graduation rate for Carthage is totally inaccurate. I’m also curious as to whether the fact that Carthage has a sizeable adult Hispanic immigrant population who did not have the opportunity for secondary educational opportunities before coming to the US was factored in.

  5. Carthage is now overrun with Mexican adults and children who do not speak English. Mainly due to the chicken/turkey plants hiring them illegally. They don’t want to become “Americanized”, so when schools tests the minimal English speaking students, they fail. Then they drop out.

    1. The lack of educational achievement certainly does not make a person “dumb.” There are many successful people who did not finish high school and certainly weren’t “dumb”. A short list follows. . .

      Abraham Lincoln

      Henry Ford

      Thomas Edison

      Walt Disney

      Al Pacino

      John D. Rockefeller, Sr.

      Benjamin Franklin

      Richard Branson

      Louis Armstrong

      Jim Carrey

  6. Guys, the author even admitted that formal education doesn’t define whether or not a city is dumb. You’re making yourselves look worse for attacking the credibility of the study (even if it is basic) because the writer made typos. Most of the cities are very rural, and demographically speaking, the study isn’t inaccurate when you consider the dominating demographic of rural areas. Stop being butthurt.

  7. Another way to view the situation:
    10 cities in Missouri = dumb.
    RoadSnacks = dumber.
    Sam Sparkes = dumbest.

  8. Another way to view the situation:
    10 cities in Missouri = dumb.
    RoadSnacks = dumber.
    Sam Sparkes = dumbest.

  9. Totally inaccurate and unnecessary article. Why waste our time? Attractive pictures though! If you have time to gather these facts, best for all if they are true. You had to have included the population of both prisons in our small community. Cameron’s population is 9,868. Of this number, 3,475 are prison inmates. Our graduation rate is 89% which is over the state’s average of 87%. If it’s going to be in writing…..get it right please!

    1. Charleston (ranked 14th) is in the same position. About 1/3 of our city population is made of offenders housed in MoDOC’s Southeast Correctional Facility.

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