The 10 Dumbest Places In California For 2023

The dumbest places in California are Huron and Mendota for 2023 based on Saturday Night Science.

The unfortunate fact of the matter is that some places in the Golden 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 California have the highest percentage of adults without a high school degree.

A recent study we published found that California is actually the 45th smartest state in the United States, with an average IQ of 97.

But that doesn’t mean that a few cities in California 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 Golden 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 411 cities in California to rank. You can take a look at the data below.

For more California reading, check out:

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

The 10 Dumbest Places In California For 2023

Huron, CA

Source: Wikipedia User David Jordan at English Wikipedia | CC BY-SA 3.0
Overall SnackAbility

Population: 6,277
% Adult High School Dropout: 70.0%
% Highly Educated: 1.0%
More on Huron:  Cost Of Living | Crime Report

Mendota, CA

Source: Wikipedia User David Jordan at English Wikipedia | GFDL
Overall SnackAbility

Population: 12,534
% Adult High School Dropout: 62.0%
% Highly Educated: 2.0%
More on Mendota:  Cost Of Living | Crime Report

Arvin, CA

Source: Flickr User Cesar_San1 | CC BY-ND 2.0
Overall SnackAbility

Population: 19,568
% Adult High School Dropout: 57.0%
% Highly Educated: 3.0%
More on Arvin:  Cost Of Living | Crime Report

Orange Cove, CA

Source: Wikipedia User Bobak Ha’Eri | CC BY 3.0
Overall SnackAbility

Population: 9,680
% Adult High School Dropout: 56.0%
% Highly Educated: 5.0%
More on Orange Cove:  Cost Of Living | Crime Report

Firebaugh, CA

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

Population: 8,040
% Adult High School Dropout: 51.0%
% Highly Educated: 5.0%
More on Firebaugh:  Cost Of Living | Crime Report

Overall SnackAbility

Population: 14,085
% Adult High School Dropout: 45.0%
% Highly Educated: 4.0%
More on Mcfarland:  Cost Of Living | Crime Report

Avenal, CA

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

Population: 13,881
% Adult High School Dropout: 54.0%
% Highly Educated: 6.0%
More on Avenal:  Cost Of Living | Crime Report

Calipatria, CA

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

Population: 7,247
% Adult High School Dropout: 42.0%
% Highly Educated: 1.0%
More on Calipatria:  Cost Of Living

Farmersville, CA

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

Population: 10,441
% Adult High School Dropout: 43.0%
% Highly Educated: 4.0%
More on Farmersville:  Cost Of Living | Crime Report

Cudahy, CA

Source: Flickr User [email protected] | CC BY 2.0
Overall SnackAbility

Population: 23,003
% Adult High School Dropout: 47.0%
% Highly Educated: 5.0%
More on Cudahy:  Cost Of Living | Crime Report

Methodology: How we determined the dumbest cities in the Golden 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 California:

  • % 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 California from dumbest to brightest.

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

There You Have It – Now That You’re Asleep

If you’re measuring the locations in California 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 California, according to science:

  1. Los Altos Hills
  2. Piedmont
  3. Atherton

For more California reading, check out:

Detailed List Of The Dumbest Cities In California For 2023

Rank City Population
1 Huron, CA 6,277
2 Mendota, CA 12,534
3 Arvin, CA 19,568
4 Orange Cove, CA 9,680
5 Firebaugh, CA 8,040
6 Mcfarland, CA 14,085
7 Avenal, CA 13,881
8 Calipatria, CA 7,247
9 Farmersville, CA 10,441
10 Cudahy, CA 23,003
11 Lindsay, CA 12,551
12 Corcoran, CA 22,616
13 Bell Gardens, CA 39,870
14 Parlier, CA 14,666
15 Soledad, CA 25,102
16 Huntington Park, CA 55,439
17 Coachella, CA 42,123
18 Maywood, CA 25,477
19 Wasco, CA 27,505
20 Lynwood, CA 67,497
21 Bell, CA 33,915
22 Gonzales, CA 8,628
23 Delano, CA 52,206
24 Livingston, CA 14,078
25 Holtville, CA 5,672
26 Woodlake, CA 7,458
27 Compton, CA 96,083
28 Blythe, CA 18,125
29 Guadalupe, CA 8,138
30 South Gate, CA 93,308
31 La Puente, CA 38,447
32 Madera, CA 66,173
33 Kerman, CA 15,817
34 Waterford, CA 9,100
35 South El Monte, CA 19,860
36 Susanville, CA 16,305
37 Adelanto, CA 37,229
38 Williams, CA 5,520
39 Newman, CA 12,154
40 Perris, CA 78,106
41 Orland, CA 8,168
42 Santa Paula, CA 30,741
43 Watsonville, CA 52,966
44 Shafter, CA 19,897
45 Commerce, CA 12,459
46 Dinuba, CA 24,383
47 Selma, CA 24,545
48 Dos Palos, CA 5,651
49 Paramount, CA 53,904
50 Los Banos, CA 44,421
51 Reedley, CA 25,168
52 Santa Maria, CA 109,309
53 Chowchilla, CA 18,826
54 Tulare, CA 68,395
55 Baldwin Park, CA 72,813
56 El Monte, CA 110,144
57 Salinas, CA 163,004
58 San Fernando, CA 24,086
59 Porterville, CA 62,164
60 Sanger, CA 26,424
61 Coalinga, CA 17,560
62 Atwater, CA 31,401
63 Ceres, CA 49,132
64 Victorville, CA 132,924
65 San Bernardino, CA 220,821
66 Santa Ana, CA 313,818
67 Rialto, CA 103,799
68 Hawaiian Gardens, CA 14,178
69 Jurupa Valley, CA 104,684
70 Corning, CA 8,156
71 Pico Rivera, CA 62,383
72 Lompoc, CA 44,232
73 Clearlake, CA 16,468
74 Brawley, CA 26,431
75 San Pablo, CA 31,975
76 Hesperia, CA 99,287
77 Patterson, CA 23,517
78 Calexico, CA 38,798
79 El Centro, CA 44,322
80 Desert Hot Springs, CA 31,988
81 Taft, CA 8,730
82 Gustine, CA 5,990
83 Pomona, CA 151,592
84 Oxnard, CA 202,981
85 Montclair, CA 37,871
86 Merced, CA 85,993
87 Lawndale, CA 32,035
88 Hollister, CA 41,077
89 Palmdale, CA 167,987
90 Riverbank, CA 24,714
91 San Jacinto, CA 53,299
92 Rosemead, CA 51,698
93 Barstow, CA 25,123
94 Willows, CA 6,241
95 Gridley, CA 7,510
96 Colton, CA 53,894
97 Ontario, CA 175,223
98 Stockton, CA 317,818
99 Colusa, CA 6,359
100 Montebello, CA 62,828
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.

9 thoughts on “The 10 Dumbest Places In California For 2023

  1. Is the grammatical errors in this article did on purpose?
    (In case you’re wondering the question I typed was done on purpose, in the style of the author of this article.)

  2. If the author would stop being snarky long enough to take a look around the cities in the Central Valley, he would see the underprivileged. Migrant farmers trying to make a better life for their children. It’s not their shame that the cities are under-educated; it’s ours.

    1. Great comment. Being uneducated isn’t the same as dumb. i question the real motives of those who made this study.

  3. Drop out rates grabbed my attention to this article through Walnut Creek (CA) Patch.
    I find it rather churlish to speak about towns and people this way. To stick to the facts: drop out rate, graduation rate, etc would be more helpful ( motivation-wise.) But to call people stupid is down right mean. You don’t know them… people are smart in different ways. So they don’t know the square root of x, how many times have you used THAT since graduation? They may be even better people to others than the “brilliant” CEOs of the world. I’d rather hang out with good people than some of the candidates we have running for President (2016). Diplomas are not a prerequisite for honesty and goodness.
    I don’t see any high school graduates lining up to pick our lettuce… and when they do… be ready to pay triple the price.)

  4. Your study is as stupid as you are. I worked in LA, Orange, San Bernadino, Kern, Ventura and Santa Barbara counties and by far the cities in LA are head and shoulders above any others you listed. You could put a 20 mile radius, with the center being Huntington Park and you would find they all top the list. I moved from LA county to get away from these idiots once I retired.

    1. Stats outweight personal experiences. You might be as stupid as the folks in those cities in the list if you think otherwise

  5. First of all, just because you don’t have a high school diploma does not make you dumb. That should’ve been worded differently.

    Second, before mentioning where certain cities are at you should double check like that YOU don’t make yourself look dumb especially since you must have at least a high school diploma. Bell is not in South Central Los Angeles. South East would be more accurate.

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