These Are The 10 Dumbest Cities In Washington


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

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Washington isn’t an incredibly dumb state, but it’s also far from the smartest state in America.

A recent Washington Post study found Washington to be the 23rd smartest state in the union, with above average scores in every intelligence metric except for SAT scores.

While the Evergreen State is about average on the smartness scale, our list is based on completion rates of basic education, and these are the cities that are holding the state back from a higher intelligence score overall.

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

  1. Othello
  2. Sunnyside
  3. Kelso
  4. Connell
  5. Shelton
  6. Yakima
  7. Toppenish
  8. Tukwila
  9. Woodland
  10. Wapato
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How we determined the dumbest cities in the Evergreen 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 Washington:

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

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1. Othello

Dumbest Washington

Source: wikipedia

Population: 7,524
Adults Without High School Diploma: 38.6%
Teenage High School Dropouts: 23.7%

Located in eastern Washington, Othello, unfortunately, gets the title as the dumbest city in the whole state. How did we assign such a horrible title to Othello?

Well, the city has the highest rate of teenagers dropping out of high school, with in absurdly high 23.7% dropout rate; that’s about 1 in 4 teenage students just saying no to basic education.

The lack of motivation in the younger generation might have something to do with the adult population not placing much importance in formal education; an incredible 38.6% of adults living in Othello never acquired their GED, which, shockingly, is only the sixth highest rate of Washington cities with populations over 5,000.

2. Sunnyside

Dumbest Washington

Source: wikipedia

Population: 16,038
Adults Without High School Diploma: 47.7%
Teenage High School Dropouts: 15.5%

A city in southern Washington, Sunnyside may have a super-optimistic name, but it’s hard to find much cheer in having such an under-educated population.

A whopping 47.7% of Sunnyside residents over the age of 25 lack a GED, which is only the third highest rate in Washington for the cities we measured.

Considering almost half of the adult population here is uneducated, the 15.5% teenage high school dropout rate seems like a modest improvement. But it’s still the sixth highest dropout rate in the state.

3. Kelso

Dumbest Washington

Source: Public Domain

Population: 11,837
Adults Without High School Diploma: 20.2%
Teenage High School Dropouts: 23.6%

Located near Mount St. Helens in the southwestern part of Washington, Kelso ranks as the third dumbest city in the state overall.

Kelso’s high school dropout rate for teenagers is just a smidge lower than Othello’s, with 23.6% of students dropping out each year. That’s the second highest rate in the state.

With about 1 in 5 adult residents lacking a high school diploma, Kelso’s adult population doesn’t do much to help out its smartness score. Since the city’s teens are dropping out at higher rates than their elders, Kelso is guaranteed to get dumber as the years go by unless things change.

4. Connell

Dumbest Washington

Source: wikipedia

Population: 5,130
Adults Without High School Diploma: 21.2%
Teenage High School Dropouts: 15.2%

Connell’s population is 2/3 male, so its ranking as the fourth dumbest city in Washington doesn’t exactly reflect well on men.

21.2% of Connell’s residents over the age of 25 do not possess a high school diploma, which is the tenth highest rate in the state.

15.2% of teenagers in Connell also drop out of high school each year, which the eighth highest rate in Washington.

5. Shelton

Dumbest Washington

Source: wikipedia

Population: 9,798
Adults Without High School Diploma: 19.4%
Teenage High School Dropouts: 14.7%

The westernmost city on the Puget Sound, Shelton ranked as the sixth most dangerous city in Washington in one of our other lists. When you look at the unbiased numbers, apparently, in some cases, there’s a co-relation between criminals and a lack of education.

19.4% of Shelton’s adult residents lack a GED; that’s about 1 in 5 people over the age of 25 who might still struggle with the difference between your and you’re.

What’s even more troubling, Shelton’s teenage population is dropping out of high school at the ninth highest rate in Washington, with about 15 of every 100 students currently opting out of a high school diploma each year.

6. Yakima

Dumbest Washington

Source: wikipedia

Population: 92,806
Adults Without High School Diploma: 26.8%
Teenage High School Dropouts: 13.0%

The teens are a little brighter in Yakima than they are in Shelton, but the adults are far less educated. Combined, this keeps Yakima just out of the top 5 Washington ‘dumb’ list.

Yakima may be the sacred source of a lot of our beer, but it’s lagging behind in terms of intelligence, with more than 1 in 4 adult residents lacking a high school education.

The city also has the fourteenth highest teenage high school dropout rate in the state, with 13% of teenagers leaving school each year.

7. Toppenish

Dumbest Washington

Source: wikipedia

Population: 9,007
Adults Without High School Diploma: 54.0%
Teenage High School Dropouts: 8.4%

Just about 20 miles southeast of Yakima, Toppenish has the second highest rate of uneducated adults in Washington.

More than half (54% to be exact) of Toppenish residents over the age of 25 lack a high school diploma, which makes it one of the least likely places in the state to start a Book of the Month club.

The current dropout rate for teenagers is 8.4%, which is better than most other cities on this list, meaning things might be turning around here.

8. Tukwila

Dumbest Washington

Source: wikipedia

Population: 19,573
Adults Without High School Diploma: 19.4%
Teenage High School Dropouts: 10.4%

Located just south of Seattle, Tukwila is apparently more dangerous than it is dumb; it ranked as the most dangerous city in Washington in another study we conducted.

Roughly 2 in 10 adult residents here lack a GED, and about 1 in 10 teenagers drops out of high school each year, which cumulatively, makes for a fairly uneducated city overall.

9. Woodland

Dumbest Washington

Source: wikipedia

Population: 5,535
Adults Without High School Diploma: 15.4%
Teenage High School Dropouts: 17.9%

Located about 30 miles north of Portland, Woodland’s main reason for being on this list is its current teenage high school dropout rate.

With 17.9% of teenage students leaving high school each year, Woodland has the third highest dropout rate in Washington.

The city’s dropout rate is even higher than its rate of uneducated adults, basically guaranteeing that Woodland will only grow dimmer with time, unless things change.

10. Wapato

Dumbest Washington

Source: wikipedia

Population: 5,043
Adults Without High School Diploma: 58.5%
Teenage High School Dropouts: 6.2%

Wapato, a city 15 miles south Yakima, is the strangest city to make this list because of the huge difference in its uneducated adult population and its current teenage high school dropout rate.

Wapato has the highest rate of uneducated adults in the state, with 58.5% of adult residents lacking a high school diploma.

On the other hand, the city has the lowest current high school dropout rate for teenagers (on this list), but with 6.2% of students leaving school each year, the city is still ranked in the bottom 33% of cities we measured.

Putting a dunce cap on our analysis

If you’re measuring the locations in Washington 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 Washington, in order: Ridgefield, Mercer Island, Issaquah, Sammamish, and DuPoint. Mercer Island, Issaquah, and Sammamish are all located in King County.

Other notable cities: Seattle ranked as the 40th smartest city in the state, with a super low teenage high school dropout rate of 2.6%.

Washington’s capital, Olympia, fared slightly better than Seattle, ranking as the 35th smartest city in the state, but with a slightly higher dropout rate.

Spokane was right in the middle of the pack, ranking as the 57th smartest (or 62nd dumbest) city in Washington.

Tacoma ranked as the 27th dumbest city in the state.

Detailed List Of Dumbest Cities In Washington

City Rank Population Adults Without High School Diploma Teenage High School Dropouts
Othello 1 7,524 38.6% 23.7%
Sunnyside 2 16,038 47.7% 15.5%
Kelso 3 11,837 20.2% 23.6%
Connell 4 5,130 21.2% 15.2%
Shelton 5 9,798 19.4% 14.7%
Yakima 6 92,806 26.8% 13.0%
Toppenish 7 9,007 54.0% 8.4%
Tukwila 8 19,573 19.4% 10.4%
Woodland 9 5,535 15.4% 17.9%
Wapato 10 5,043 58.5% 6.2%
Pasco 11 65,858 30.8% 6.9%
Pacific 12 6,845 15.3% 13.6%
Mount Vernon 13 32,356 19.6% 7.8%
Hoquiam 14 8,560 17.4% 9.1%
Ferndale 15 12,040 14.1% 12.9%
Burlington 16 8,466 15.6% 9.0%
Lakewood 17 58,890 11.9% 14.4%
Longview 18 36,589 13.3% 8.8%
Burien 19 49,291 15.7% 6.4%
Orting 20 6,941 10.1% 16.7%
Kent 21 122,620 15.2% 7.2%
Grandview 22 11,023 44.7% 3.4%
Fife 23 9,346 10.6% 13.0%
East Wenatchee 24 13,403 19.0% 3.7%
Arlington 25 18,370 11.1% 8.8%
Auburn 26 73,403 12.9% 6.6%
Tacoma 27 201,794 12.5% 6.9%
Airway Heights 28 6,356 8.8% 13.3%
Des Moines 29 30,403 15.4% 4.4%
Everett 30 104,708 13.1% 5.6%
Federal Way 31 91,676 10.5% 8.1%
North Bend 32 6,127 7.7% 16.8%
Kennewick 33 75,971 13.8% 4.8%
Sumner 34 9,548 8.8% 10.2%
Stanwood 35 6,468 10.3% 8.1%
Wenatchee 36 32,627 17.1% 3.1%
Edgewood 37 9,538 8.5% 9.3%
Union Gap 38 6,061 40.2% 1.1%
Chehalis 39 7,265 15.3% 3.3%
Vancouver 40 165,554 10.6% 5.8%
Renton 41 95,479 11.6% 4.9%
Lynnwood 42 36,267 11.8% 4.4%
Bonney Lake 43 18,040 8.4% 8.2%
Monroe 44 17,564 16.0% 2.7%
Aberdeen 45 16,544 17.9% 2.0%
Bremerton 46 38,664 7.4% 9.5%
Sedro-Woolley 47 10,645 10.2% 5.3%
Walla Walla 48 31,895 13.1% 3.2%
Centralia 49 16,664 18.8% 1.0%
Quincy 50 7,075 37.4% 0.0%
Marysville 51 62,472 10.1% 4.6%
College Place 52 8,905 8.2% 6.3%
Prosser 53 5,793 20.3% 0.0%
Covington 54 18,361 6.9% 7.5%
Moses Lake 55 21,141 16.9% 0.8%
Spokane Valley 56 90,829 8.1% 6.1%
Fircrest 57 6,592 4.3% 15.2%
SeaTac 58 27,606 18.1% 0.0%
Lake Forest Park 59 12,938 4.7% 11.5%
Ephrata 60 7,888 16.3% 0.2%
Clarkston 61 7,318 15.9% 0.3%
Spokane 62 210,142 8.7% 3.7%
Washougal 63 14,563 7.8% 4.5%
Lake Stevens 64 29,258 8.7% 3.5%
Port Orchard 65 12,715 7.8% 4.3%
Puyallup 66 38,092 8.2% 3.5%
Bellingham 67 82,080 7.4% 4.1%
Ellensburg 68 18,455 8.7% 3.1%
Shoreline 69 54,254 8.6% 3.1%
Snohomish 70 9,326 6.9% 3.9%
Enumclaw 71 11,388 11.8% 0.2%
Anacortes 72 15,965 5.4% 5.0%
Battle Ground 73 18,168 10.8% 0.7%
Selah 74 7,328 11.7% 0.0%
Mountlake Terrace 75 20,318 9.0% 1.1%
Port Angeles 76 19,125 8.0% 2.4%
Snoqualmie 77 11,625 1.7% 6.5%
Duvall 78 7,185 3.2% 5.3%
Seattle 79 637,850 6.9% 2.6%
Yelm 80 7,398 7.4% 2.3%
Lynden 81 12,579 9.3% 0.0%
Sequim 82 6,651 9.1% 0.0%
Lacey 83 44,031 6.5% 2.5%
Olympia 84 47,847 5.7% 2.9%
Normandy Park 85 6,491 1.5% 5.9%
Oak Harbor 86 22,220 6.9% 2.0%
Brier 87 6,255 5.0% 3.0%
Gig Harbor 88 7,620 5.2% 2.8%
Bellevue 89 132,268 4.4% 3.2%
Maple Valley 90 24,040 3.0% 3.7%
Tumwater 91 18,128 6.2% 1.7%
West Richland 92 12,680 6.5% 1.2%
Richland 93 51,116 4.5% 2.4%
Redmond 94 56,704 4.5% 2.3%
University Place 95 31,670 5.4% 1.0%
Ocean Shores 96 5,609 6.5% 0.0%
Kirkland 97 83,320 3.5% 2.4%
Kenmore 98 21,263 6.0% 0.0%
Milton 99 7,260 5.1% 0.6%
Bothell 100 34,920 5.7% 0.1%
Edmonds 101 40,343 4.0% 1.1%
Newcastle 102 10,792 1.7% 2.7%
Poulsbo 103 9,436 5.5% 0.0%
Steilacoom 104 6,083 4.8% 0.0%
Camas 105 20,458 4.6% 0.0%
Cheney 106 11,014 4.6% 0.0%
Liberty Lake 107 8,027 4.2% 0.0%
Bainbridge Island 108 23,206 1.5% 1.3%
Mukilteo 109 20,635 2.5% 0.7%
Woodinville 110 11,201 3.7% 0.0%
Mill Creek 111 18,667 3.6% 0.0%
Port Townsend 112 9,168 3.4% 0.0%
Pullman 113 30,851 3.0% 0.1%
DuPont 114 8,851 2.7% 0.0%
Sammamish 115 49,077 1.6% 0.3%
Issaquah 116 32,551 1.9% 0.0%
Mercer Island 117 23,636 1.9% 0.0%
Ridgefield 118 5,373 1.7% 0.0%

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

  1. A lot of the Mexicans are moving north, as far away from the borders as they can. There is a lot of them, that have no education. There is also many that don’t speak English and there parents don’t speak English, so they are very hard to educate and very costly, until they can speak English. Washington State is a Democrat state on the west side, and they feel they will be safer here from deportation if they are illegal.

  2. They may not be able to speak English, In my opinion, if you live In America, then speak our language, regardless where your from, if you live there, then be accountable for it. weather your Spanish, Vietnamise, Islam, speak our language, don’t change our culture. We are Americans, we speak English, we salute the flag, we say the Pledge of allegiance, I am female and I was in the Marine Corps 50 years ago, and I’m proud, not looking for a handout or a free meal. I’m 70 years old, raised 2 boys, have 4 grandkids, love my life.

  3. I would love to see the under 5,000 pop list!! LOL
    And there is no such thing as a migrating Mexican citizen anymore!
    They don’t go back! They stay once they accomplish getting here in eastern Washington.
    Come visit the weekend Mexican flea market in El Pasco!
    It truly is wonderful with amazing food!

  4. The glaring commonality in six out of ten of those cities is the huge illegal alien population of those communities. All of them are in agricultural areas of the state. Toppenish, Wapato, Sunnyside, Othello and Yakima are all inundated with “immigrants” and street gangs. Besides the produce, the area also “exports” its hoodlums to other communities in the state. Bottom line, what little education the adults did get, they got in Mexico, El Salvador etc.

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