These Are The 10 Dumbest Cities In America For 2018


We used science and data to determine which American cities are real dummies.

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This article is an opinion based on facts and is meant as infotainment. Don’t freak out.

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Americans like to think they’re the best when it comes to just about everything, when measured against other nations. While we’re certainly the richest, most freedom loving, and pretty much the bodyguards for the poor and defenseless, we’ve known for years that we’re certainly not the smartest country on earth.

Recently, we ranked 28th when it came to math and science scores, according to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).

We’re really smart, people. Just not the smartest. And we’re working on it.

We wanted to measure the biggest cities in the U.S. to see where the most dummies live.

So, how do you decide which city in the U.S. is the dumbest? By measuring the high school graduation rate of the entire population, and looking at the number of educational vs. drinking opportunities in these places, that’s how.

Plus, we thought why not add in a stereotype? Cause, you know, women are always saying that they are smarter than men. That might not actually be a stereotype, though. According to ABC News, women just passed men on IQ tests.

Using that criteria, it’s not hard to scrape the internet, run some scientific data on where the largest pockets of dumb people in America might live, and then put out a list.

Are we seeing a pattern here? Just about all of the cities on this list are in California and Texas. Is that a surprise?

Also, we’re not saying the people in these cities – or the cities themselves – are bad. We’re just making an observation that as a majority, they’re not the brightest bulbs in the room.

Read on below to see where your town ranked.

Or if you’re simply not interested in reading about dumb, and you don’t care about this list, check out:

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What stupid criteria did we use?

In order to rank the dumbest cities in the USA of A, we had to determine what criteria defines a dumb person.

We started by making a list of every place in the U.S. with over 5,000 people based on the 2012-2016 American Community Survey. That left us with ~250 places to rank.

We then looked at the following dumb-tastic criteria for each of the places on the list:

  • High school graduation rates
  • Number of bars vs. libraries per capita
  • Number of men in a city

Note: For the sake of getting reliable numbers, we counted places within a city’s border, as well as within a short driving distance.

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1. Santa Ana, CA

Santa Ana, Ca

Population: 329,443
High school graduation rate: 50%
Bars-to-library ratio: 22 to 1
% of city that’s men: 50.73%

When you have 22 bars for every library, and half of the people in your city are walking around without a high school education, that’s a sign that your town is lacking some real intelligence.

While we’re not judging the individual intelligence level of anyone in Santa Ana in particular, it’s clear there’s not a lot upstairs with many, many people here.

Santa Ana is centrally located in Orange County, and it’s considered one of the most densely populated cities in the country.

2. El Monte, CA

El Monte, Ca

Source: Public domain

Population: 117,035
High school graduation rate: 53%
Bars-to-library ratio: 10 to 1
% of city that’s men: 50.3%

El Monte is just a bit east of Los Angeles. Here, 47% of the residents are high school dropouts. There are 10 bars for every library here. In fact, there aren’t very many libraries at all in El Monte.

We’re not saying that a lack of libraries is a sign that people are stupid. We get it: Lots of people don’t attend libraries, and you can learn anything you want on the web. That’s if you have the web. There are large percentages of every large city that don’t have a computer or internet, and rely on a library in which to learn.

And that would be really tough in El Monte.

3. Brownsville, TX

Brownsville, Tx

Source: Public domain

Population: 175,340
High school graduation rate: 56%
Bars-to-library ratio: 16 to 1

Holy drunk, Brownsville! There are five libraries in the entire city, but more than 70 bars, clubs and other related venues. That’s sending a sign that there are many more important matters than studying. And the high school graduation rate proves that.

Brownsville is one of the poorest cities in the country, and it has one of the highest poverty rates. When you look at the education level of most residents, you can see why.

4. Salinas, CA

Salinas, Ca

Population: 155,456
High school graduation rate: 57%
Bars-to-library ratio: 4 to 1
% of city that’s men: 50.4%

So here’s the deal with Salinas: It has one of the nation’s highest number of uneducated residents. That’s a fact. But the library to bar ratio is actually respectable. There are quite a few libraries in town here.

For that reason, we’re arguing that there’s no excuse that such a large percentage of the population remains uneducated. Like quite a few other cities on this list, Salinas is a huge agricultural town, and it has one of the largest concentrations of illegal immigrants in the nation.

5. Oxnard, CA

Oxnard, Ca

Population: 203,456
High school graduation rate: 62%
Libraries-to-bar ratio: 13 to 1
% of city that’s men: 50.73%

Oxnard has 13 bars for every library, and 1 in 3 people here doesn’t have even a basic education.

Most of the reason Oxnard is so uneducated is the number of farm workers in the area. Oxnard is one of the most fertile areas of the world, and there are lots of laborers here from all over central and South America.

The number of men here is one of the highest in the state as well. Remember, women are smarter than men now. It’s been proven.

6. Laredo, TX

Laredo, Tx

Population: 250,454
High school graduation rate: 62%
Libraries-to-bar ratio: 15 to 1

If you look at the Wikipedia entry for Laredo, it has a lot to talk about with the number of festivals and nightlife in town, and the discussion about the amount of government corruption here could be its own WIkipedia page.

But the section about education in Laredo is very small.

While there are a number of jobs available here, many are low-paying jobs. That’s also a sign of an uneducated community.

7. Pomona, CA

Pomona, Ca

Source: Public domain

Population: 150,454
High school graduation rate: 63%
Libraries-to-bar ratio: 13 to 1

You might have heard about Cal Poly Pomona (a great school) and Pomona College (not actually in Pomona). This Los Angeles County suburb is actually one of the dumbest in the nation when you look at the numbers.

More than 1 in 3 residents is highly uneducated, and for the most part, unemployable for most jobs that require some brain power. More than 1 in 5 people in Pomona lives below the poverty line.

8. Hartford, CT

Hartford, Ct

Source: Public domain

Population: 125,343
High school graduation rate: 63%
Libraries-to-bar ratio: 16 to 1

Hartford has the unfortunate distinction of being the only city that’s not in California or Texas to make this list. If you live in Connecticut, blame the low graduation rate. More than a third of the population never completed high school.

And while there are lots of places to get your BUD in Hartford, there aren’t too many places to get your GED. There are far more bar stools in town than there are library cards.

9. San Bernardino, CA

San Bernardino, Ca

Source: Public domain

Population: 209,343
High school graduation rate: 65%
Libraries-to-bar ratio: 10 to 1

San Bernardino has been on our list before. And, we can attest that there are lots and lots of dumb people walking around San Bernardino any given day. While there are a decent number of city libraries here, if you ask a native of San Bernardino, they’d tell you the bars and clubs are much more popular.

It’s a place of high crime, and one where the people who have a decent education move away from. And it seems that those who have no motivation to excel in life take their place.

10. Pasadena, TX

Pasadena, Tx

Population: 150,004
High school graduation rate: 65%
Libraries-to-bar ratio: 9 to 1

When your city’s nickname is “Pasa-get-down-dena”, that’s a clear indication that people are partying a lot more than learning. And more than a third of people seem to want to keep it that way.

A big part of the economy here is gas and oil exploration. Which is a great career for a hard-working, blue-collar worker that makes up a majority of the people living here.
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There You Have It

If you’re measuring the locations in America where there are a high number of dropouts, few libraries, and where men tend to dominate, this is an accurate list.

A study by the Washington Post said women have better verbal skills than men. To that study, I say, “Duh!”

If you’re curious enough, here are the least stupid places in America. Or, the smartest, if you will:

  1. Irvine, CA (4.1% uneducated)
  2. Naperville, IL (4.3%)
  3. Overland Park (4.9%)
  4. Ann Arbor, MI (4.9%)
  5. Scottsdale (5.5%)

We also wrote about the worst cities in America if you didn’t happen to see it. Click here to read it.

Desktop users, below is a chart of all 250 cities we studied, from dumbest to smartest.

City Drop Out Rate Rank
santa ana 49.60% 1
el monte 46.90% 2
brownsville 43.80% 3
salinas 42.90% 4
oxnard 38.40% 5
laredo 38.20% 6
pomona 37.20% 7
hartford 37.00% 8
san bernardino 35.60% 9
pasadena 35.20% 10
newark 33.50% 11
hialeah 33.20% 12
miami 32.40% 13
ontario 32.20% 14
paterson 31.80% 15
providence 31.70% 16
bridgeport 30.90% 17
fontana 30.80% 18
springfield 30.10% 19
odessa 29.90% 20
elizabeth 29.80% 21
inglewood 29.80% 22
palmdale 29.70% 23
el paso 29.70% 24
stockton 29.70% 25
mcallen 29.50% 26
detroit 29.40% 27
dallas 29.30% 27
garden grove 29.20% 29
allentown 29.20% 30
escondido 28.80% 31
cleveland 28.80% 32
macon 28.50% 33
houston 28.40% 34
waco 28.30% 35
fresno 28.20% 36
anaheim 28.00% 37
kansas city 27.40% 38
north las vegas 27.20% 39
los angeles 27.20% 40
moreno valley 27.10% 41
rochester 26.80% 42
victorville 26.70% 43
garland 26.70% 44
lowell 26.60% 45
downey 26.30% 46
grand prairie 26.30% 47
aurora 26.10% 48
elgin 26.10% 49
corpus christi 25.70% 50
miami gardens 25.40% 51
baltimore 25.30% 52
west valley city 25.20% 53
fort worth 25.10% 54
san antonio 25.00% 55
syracuse 25.00% 55
abilene 24.90% 57
riverside 24.80% 58
bakersfield 24.70% 59
dayton 24.50% 60
rockford 24.40% 61
new york 24.20% 62
irving 23.90% 63
modesto 23.80% 64
buffalo 23.80% 64
phoenix 23.70% 66
philadelphia 23.70% 67
richmond 23.60% 68
milwaukee 23.50% 69
hayward 23.20% 70
long beach 22.90% 71
amarillo 22.90% 72
new haven 22.80% 73
lancaster 22.60% 74
chicago 22.30% 75
st. louis 22.00% 76
yonkers 22.00% 77
oakland 21.80% 78
memphis 21.70% 79
midland 21.70% 80
jackson 21.60% 81
las vegas 21.50% 82
chattanooga 21.50% 83
chula vista 21.20% 84
gresham 21.00% 85
beaumont 20.90% 86
visalia 20.90% 86
grand rapids 20.80% 88
glendale 20.80% 89
columbus 20.60% 90
sacramento 20.50% 91
tucson 20.40% 92
savannah 20.40% 93
birmingham 20.40% 94
lubbock 20.30% 95
joliet 20.20% 96
warren 20.10% 97
salem 20.10% 98
indianapolis 20.10% 99
evansville 20.00% 100
corona 19.90% 101
cincinnati 19.80% 102
independence 19.80% 103
kent 19.70% 104
toledo 19.70% 105
louisville 19.60% 106
norfolk 19.50% 107
arlington 19.50% 108
san jose 19.50% 109
des moines 19.40% 110
montgomery 19.40% 111
athens 19.20% 112
oklahoma city 19.10% 113
akron 19.10% 114
lansing 19.00% 115
worcester 18.90% 116
orange 18.80% 117
aurora 18.60% 118
fort lauderdale 18.50% 119
denver 18.50% 120
tampa 18.40% 121
oceanside 18.30% 122
manchester 18.30% 123
port st. lucie 18.30% 124
boston 18.30% 125
new orleans 18.20% 126
reno 18.10% 127
nashville 18.10% 128
santa rosa 18.00% 129
baton rouge 18.00% 130
knoxville 17.90% 131
jersey city 17.80% 132
topeka 17.80% 133
lafayette 17.70% 134
springfield 17.70% 135
wichita 17.60% 136
mobile 17.50% 137
shreveport 17.50% 138
thornton 17.40% 138
hollywood 17.30% 138
tulsa 17.30% 141
tacoma 17.30% 142
jacksonville 17.20% 143
carrollton 17.10% 143
columbia 17.00% 143
salt lake city 16.80% 146
mesa 16.80% 147
austin 16.70% 148
st. petersburg 16.70% 149
kansas city 16.70% 150
pasadena 16.60% 151
sterling heights 16.60% 152
costa mesa 16.50% 153
vallejo 16.50% 154
fullerton 16.40% 155
fairfield 16.40% 156
denton 16.30% 157
glendale 16.30% 158
vancouver 16.10% 159
fort wayne 16.00% 160
orlando 15.90% 161
durham 15.90% 162
albuquerque 15.80% 163
clearwater 15.80% 163
omaha 15.60% 165
pittsburgh 15.60% 166
san francisco 15.50% 167
cape coral 15.50% 168
stamford 15.40% 168
greensboro 15.40% 170
atlanta 15.30% 171
hampton 15.30% 172
washington 15.30% 173
san diego 15.20% 174
peoria 15.10% 174
columbus 15.00% 176
minneapolis 14.90% 177
huntsville 14.90% 178
concord 14.80% 179
wilmington 14.70% 180
charlotte 14.50% 180
chesapeake 14.20% 182
newport news 14.20% 182
santa clarita 14.10% 184
west jordan 14.10% 185
lakewood 13.90% 186
killeen 13.90% 187
springfield 13.90% 188
honolulu 13.80% 189
westminster 13.70% 189
clarksville 13.60% 189
sioux falls 13.50% 192
miramar 13.30% 193
fayetteville 13.20% 194
spokane 13.20% 195
little rock 13.20% 196
murfreesboro 13.10% 197
peoria 12.90% 198
portland 12.90% 199
pembroke pines 12.90% 200
round rock 12.80% 201
gainesville 12.70% 202
simi valley 12.40% 203
rancho cucamonga 12.30% 204
anchorage 12.10% 205
tempe 12.10% 205
raleigh 11.80% 205
tallahassee 11.50% 208
elk grove 11.50% 209
cedar rapids 11.40% 210
provo 11.10% 211
colorado springs 10.90% 211
fremont 10.90% 213
arvada 10.80% 214
henderson 10.70% 215
mckinney 10.70% 216
surprise 10.50% 217
sunnyvale 10.40% 218
norman 10.40% 219
virginia beach 10.30% 220
coral springs 10.20% 221
lincoln 10.20% 222
chandler 10.20% 223
santa clara 10.10% 224
charleston 10.00% 225
eugene 9.50% 226
alexandria 9.40% 227
columbia 9.40% 228
seattle 8.90% 229
plano 8.80% 230
fargo 8.70% 231
rochester 8.70% 232
huntington beach 8.50% 233
torrance 8.30% 234
roseville 8.10% 235
olathe 7.90% 235
thousand oaks 7.70% 237
madison 7.30% 238
fort collins 6.70% 239
cary 6.60% 240
gilbert 6.50% 241
bellevue 5.80% 242
frisco 5.70% 243
carlsbad 5.70% 244
berkeley 5.60% 245
scottsdale 5.50% 246
ann arbor 4.90% 247
overland park 4.90% 248
naperville 4.30% 17
irvine 4.10% 250

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11 thoughts on “These Are The 10 Dumbest Cities In America For 2018

  1. I believe you have failed to consider that many of the “high school dropouts” in El Monte are immigrants who had limited educational opportunities in their native countries and who, more importantly, risked life and limb to bring their children to our country so that their children would have a better chance at an education.

    These are some of the smartest people you’ll ever meet, and I’m honored to serve these people of courage, self-sacrifice, and perseverance as a teacher in El Monte.

  2. I really don’t understand what sex has to to with the average intelligence of a city. Sure, more women than men are graduating from the college and high school level, but that statistic was clearly covered by the high school graduation rate, which is really the only statistic that matters in this survey as far as getting an estimate on an IQ median of a population is concerned. I just can’t help but wonder if the author simply wants to degrade men for the sake of it. It feels like reading about the poverty of a city being attributed to the number of blacks or latinos/hispanics found in the specified city instead of the economic conditions in which many of them work. Yep. Pretty offensive and illogical stuff.

  3. I is fum conntickut and yous aint know nothing bout ratio impmalcemt
    from google : a ratio is a relationship between two numbers indicating how many times the first number contains the second.[1] For example, if a bowl of fruit contains eight oranges and six lemons, then the ratio of oranges to lemons is eight to six (that is, 8:6, which is equivalent to the ratio 4:3). PRICK

  4. This article is an opinion based on facts and is meant as infotainment. Don’t freak out.

    Obviously any of the people who are triggered did not read this. Also, I am from Santa Ana and I totally agree with it because there are so many people who just do not try even though they are given all the opportunities.

  5. They factoring population of men because factually Women are Smarter than men so the more men you have in that City if it’s over 50% basically it’s saying with the fact that women are statistically smarter than men depending on how many men live there is going to make that City not as intelligent as others

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