These Are The 10 Dumbest Cities In Oregon

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

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The Washington Post recently published a study of the smartest (and dumbest) states in America; Oregon didn’t do so hot, but it didn’t too super-poorly either.

Oregon is only the 27th smartest state in America, with about average scores in each of The Washington Post’s intelligence metrics.

Well these are the cities that are keeping Oregon from ranking in the top half of the smartest states in America.

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

  1. Madras (Photos)
  2. Woodburn (Photos)
  3. Hermiston (Photos)
  4. Independence (Photos)
  5. Lincoln City (Photos)
  6. Sutherlin (Photos)
  7. Junction City (Photos)
  8. Canby (Photos)
  9. Gresham (Photos)
  10. Springfield (Photos)

For more Oregon reading, check out:


How we determined the dumbest cities in the Beaver 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 Oregon:

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

1. Madras

Dumbest Oregon

Source: Google Maps

Population: 6,419
Adults Without High School Diploma: 23.1%
Teenage High School Dropouts: 21.6%

According to the data, the little city of Madras is the dumbest place in all of Oregon. Why’s that?

Well, mainly it’s due to Madras’ current high school dropout rate for teenagers; with 21.6% of students opting out of basic education each year, the city has the highest rate of dropouts in Oregon.

On top of that, 23.1% of Madras residents over the age of 25 lack a high school diploma, which is the fifth highest rate in the state.

With the current dropout rate about as high as the rate of uneducated adults, Madras seems like a lock to continue having the title of dumbest city in Oregon for years to come.

2. Woodburn

Dumbest Oregon

Source: Google Maps

Population: 24,282
Adults Without High School Diploma: 33.9%
Teenage High School Dropouts: 10.1%

Located between Portland and Salem, Woodburn is the second dumbest city in Oregon not as much for its current teenage high school dropout rate, but for its horrendous rate of uneducated adults.

More than 1 in 3 adults living in Woodburn lack a GED, which is the second highest rate in the state (and the highest rate on this list).

Woodburn’s teenage high school dropout rate isn’t super either; with about 1 in 10 students leaving school each year, the city’s dropout rate is twice as high as the state average.

3. Hermiston

Dumbest Oregon

Source: Public domain

Population: 17,031
Adults Without High School Diploma: 19.6%
Teenage High School Dropouts: 16.5%

Hermiston’s motto touts that it’s “the future of eastern Oregon,” but with the third highest dropout rate in the state for students between the ages of 16-19, Hermiston’s future may seriously be hindered.

16.5% of teenagers leave high school each year in Hermiston, which is almost as high as the rate of uneducated adults in the city.

Now since Hermiston’s primarily an agricultural place, it may not matter that 19.6% of the city’s adults lack a GED, but with the current dropout rate so high, Hermiston doesn’t seem to have a very bright future.

4. Independence

Dumbest Oregon

Population: 8,654
Adults Without High School Diploma: 21.3%
Teenage High School Dropouts: 16.2%

Located about 60 mile southwest of Portland, Independence ranks as the fourth dumbest city in Oregon overall, with the fourth highest teenage high school dropout rate in the state.

16.2% of teenagers leave high school each year in Independence, which is more than three times as high as the state average,

The rate of uneducated adults living in Independence is also much higher than the statewide average for cities with populations over 5,000, with more than 2 in 10 adult residents lacking a high school diploma.

5. Lincoln City

Dumbest Oregon

Population: 7,977
Adults Without High School Diploma: 14.2%
Teenage High School Dropouts: 16.0%

Located on the northwestern coast of Oregon, Lincoln City already ranked as the seventh most dangerous city in the state in one of our other lists, so combined with its new status as the fifth dumbest city in Oregon, Lincoln City seems sorta
not so great.

The city has the fifth highest dropout rate in the state, with 16% of students between the ages of 16-19 leaving basic education before acquiring their GED.

The current dropout rate is higher than Lincoln City’s rate of uneducated adults, meaning if the dropouts stay in their hometown, the city will only grow dumber.

6. Sutherlin

Dumbest Oregon

Population: 7,776
Adults Without High School Diploma: 14.5%
Teenage High School Dropouts: 8.4%

Sutherlin earns its status as the sixth dumbest city in the state by placing in the bottom 25% of Oregon cities in both of our smartness metrics.

14.5% of adult residents of Sutherlin are without a high school diploma, which is only slightly higher than the state average.

Sutherlin’s current high school dropout rate for teenagers is more worrisome; with 8.4% of students leaving basic education, the city’s dropout rate is more than 3% higher than the statewide average.

7. Junction City

Dumbest Oregon

Population: 5,566
Adults Without High School Diploma: 14.8%
Teenage High School Dropouts: 7.3%

Little ol’ Junction City is the smallest spot to make this list, and, as a primarily agricultural community, it may not be so important that only 85% of adult residents have completed high school.

But with 7.3% of students between the ages of 16-19 leaving high school each year, Junction City is behind most of Oregon’s other cities by a considerable margin.

8. Canby

Dumbest Oregon

Source: Public domain

Population: 16,821
Adults Without High School Diploma: 11.5%
Teenage High School Dropouts: 17.1%

Located roughly 30 miles south of Portland, Canby ranks as the eighth dumbest city in Oregon overall, with extremely different smartness scores for its teenage and adult populations.

On the one hand, Canby’s rate of uneducated adults is only 11.5%, which is actually slightly lower than the statewide average.

On the other hand, Canby has the second highest rate of teenagers dropping out of high school in the state; with 17 of every 100 teenagers leaving basic education each year, Canby’s dropout rate more than triples the state average and guarantees the city a dimmer future.

9. Gresham

Dumbest Oregon

Source: Public domain

Population: 108,250
Adults Without High School Diploma: 16.3%
Teenage High School Dropouts: 5.9%

Located immediately east of Portland, Gresham is the most populous city to make this list, meaning big cities can be every bit as dumb as those little ones out in the sticks.

With a current teenage high school dropout rate of 5.9%, Gresham is only slightly higher than the state average, which is good.

What’s not-so-good is that 16.3% of adult residents of Gresham lack GEDs, meaning that adults are the real cause of the city’s dumbness.

10. Springfield

Dumbest Oregon

Population: 59,882
Adults Without High School Diploma: 13.1% 27th
Teenage High School Dropouts: 9.0% 14th

The city that Matt Groening says he named The Simpsons hometown after (look it up!), Springfield, Oregon is the last city to make the dumb-cut. Doh!

Homer’s lovable stupidity might go unnoticed in this Springfield, since only 87% of the city’s adult residents have graduated high school.

Bart may have felt quite at home here as well, since 9% of teenagers leave high school each year, which is well over the statewide average for Oregon.

Putting a dunce cap on our analysis

If you’re measuring the locations in Oregon 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 Oregon, in order: Lake Oswego, Creswell, Bend, Sherwood, and North Bend. All but Bend are located in western Oregon, while Bend is near the dead center of the state.

Other notable cities: The hippest city in Oregon, Portland, ranked as the 34th smartest city in the state, with above average scores in both categories.

Eugene fared even better, ranking as the 13th smartest city in the state, with both statistics being nearly twice as good as the state average.

Oregon’s capital, Salem, doesn’t look so hot in terms of smarts – it ranked as the 16th dumbest city in the state, with below average scores in both of our intelligence metrics.

Detailed List Of Dumbest Cities In Oregon

City Rank Population Adults Without High School Diploma Teenage High School Dropouts
Madras 1 6,419 23.1% 21.6%
Woodburn 2 24,282 33.9% 10.1%
Hermiston 3 17,031 19.6% 16.5%
Independence 4 8,654 21.3% 16.2%
Lincoln City 5 7,977 14.2% 16.0%
Sutherlin 6 7,776 14.5% 8.4%
Junction City 7 5,566 14.8% 7.3%
Canby 8 16,821 11.5% 17.1%
Gresham 9 108,250 16.3% 5.9%
Springfield 10 59,882 13.1% 9.0%
Medford 11 76,648 12.5% 8.7%
Winston 12 5,356 12.3% 9.3%
Umatilla 13 6,998 23.0% 3.8%
Ontario 14 11,148 25.4% 2.9%
Klamath Falls 15 21,165 14.0% 6.2%
Salem 16 157,967 13.6% 6.5%
Redmond 17 27,002 11.2% 9.8%
Baker City 18 9,774 10.9% 15.3%
Roseburg 19 21,858 9.5% 9.4%
Hillsboro 20 95,765 13.2% 5.3%
Grants Pass 21 34,916 11.0% 7.7%
Milton-Freewater 22 7,094 38.3% 0.0%
Central Point 23 17,443 14.0% 3.3%
Dallas 24 14,788 9.0% 9.1%
Cornelius 25 12,068 32.7% 0.0%
McMinnville 26 32,839 15.3% 1.9%
Coos Bay 27 16,022 11.8% 5.5%
Keizer 28 36,875 11.1% 6.3%
Talent 29 6,164 8.0% 15.8%
Forest Grove 30 22,070 15.7% 1.0%
Stayton 31 7,719 17.5% 0.5%
Astoria 32 9,503 7.4% 13.9%
The Dalles 33 15,068 15.0% 1.1%
Prineville 34 9,184 16.8% 0.4%
Sheridan 35 6,081 17.2% 0.0%
Cottage Grove 36 9,772 15.1% 0.9%
Lebanon 37 15,761 9.1% 6.0%
Fairview 38 9,094 13.8% 1.1%
Gladstone 39 11,668 10.9% 4.8%
Newberg 40 22,451 13.6% 1.4%
Hood River 41 7,311 14.7% 0.0%
Milwaukie 42 20,449 6.2% 8.5%
Portland 43 602,568 9.1% 4.6%
Sandy 44 9,945 5.9% 8.6%
Wilsonville 45 20,335 8.0% 6.6%
Damascus 46 10,711 8.4% 5.4%
Sweet Home 47 9,042 10.9% 3.1%
Monmouth 48 9,769 8.7% 5.0%
Brookings 49 6,350 8.3% 5.3%
Beaverton 50 92,593 9.0% 3.8%
St. Helens 51 13,017 11.9% 1.0%
Albany 52 51,210 10.6% 2.3%
Pendleton 53 16,830 8.8% 4.1%
Tigard 54 49,633 8.1% 5.3%
Scappoose 55 6,778 7.6% 5.8%
Warrenton 56 5,089 9.3% 2.7%
Seaside 57 6,481 12.5% 0.0%
Troutdale 58 16,339 8.3% 3.9%
Oregon City 59 33,834 7.9% 4.3%
La Grande 60 13,090 8.2% 2.9%
Molalla 61 8,247 11.4% 0.0%
Tualatin 62 26,604 8.5% 2.0%
Silverton 63 9,342 9.0% 1.5%
Eugene 64 158,131 6.7% 2.9%
Newport 65 10,045 9.4% 0.0%
Eagle Point 66 8,599 9.0% 0.0%
Florence 67 8,498 8.1% 0.0%
Ashland 68 20,412 2.8% 1.9%
Happy Valley 69 15,693 3.7% 1.5%
West Linn 70 25,710 1.8% 1.9%
Corvallis 71 54,735 4.3% 1.1%
North Bend 72 9,591 6.2% 0.5%
Sherwood 73 18,687 3.5% 1.3%
Bend 74 79,698 5.7% 0.8%
Creswell 75 5,065 6.3% 0.0%
Lake Oswego 76 37,310 2.2% 0.5%

3 thoughts on “These Are The 10 Dumbest Cities In Oregon

  1. As a native American from warm springs rezervation next to madras I know a lot of people drop out of school who start…probably what brought % down

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