Recently, the Washington Post published a study on the smartest states in America.
In the categories of SAT scores and college graduation rate, Indiana ranked as the eleventh dumbest state in America.
We’ll be looking at high school completion rates rather than college-related metrics of smartness, for the sake of figuring out which cities in Indiana are contributing to Indiana’s stupidity more than the rest.
After crunching the numbers, we came up with this list of the 10 dumbest cities in the Hoosier State:
- Westville (Photos)
- Logansport (Photos)
- Brazil (Photos)
- Lake Station
- Elkhart (Photos)
- East Chicago (Photos)
- Richmond (Photos)
- Washington (Photos)
- Shelbyville (Photos)
- Hammond (Photos)
For more Indiana reading, check out:
How we determined the dumbest cities in the Hoosier State
In order to rank the dumbest cities in Indiana, 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 adults based on the 2014 American Community Survey. That left us with 90 places to rank.
We then looked at the following dumb-tastic criteria for each of the places on the list:
- % 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 the graduation rates of the entire population, not the current rates for high schoolers.
Adult Population: 5,242
Less Than High School Education: 27.9%
High School Drop Out Rate: 42.3%
Westville is the dumbest city in Indiana by a seriously wide margin.
Its current high school dropout rate is shockingly high – 42.3% of students drop out before the age of 19, which is almost twice as bad as the second worst city in Indiana.
And the fact that nearly 28% of folks over 25 in Westville decided that high school was a waste of time (the second highest rate in Indiana) means that there aren’t a lot of role models instilling the importance of education into the upcoming generation.
Even still, it’s truly rare to see a dropout rate so much higher than the current rate of population without a high school degree, two facts which guarantee Westville will be the dumbest city in Indiana for years to come.
Adult Population: 11,485
Less Than High School Education: 27.1%
High School Drop Out Rate: 15.8%
Logansport may seem like a city of geniuses compared to Westville, but it’s still the second dumbest city in Indiana.
More than a quarter of Logansport’s 25+ population never attained a high school degree, which is the third worst rate in all of Indiana.
The dropout rate of 15.8% is also the seventh worst in the state, meaning Logansport may be doomed to a fate of stupidity.
Adult Population: 5,199
Less Than High School Education: 22.7%
High School Drop Out Rate: 10.4%
Brazil, Indiana, is the third dumbest city in the state, mostly because of the amount of adults living there that never completed high school.
22.7% of Brazil’s 25+ population doesn’t have a high school degree, the seventh worst rate in Indiana.
Couple that with the fact that more than 1 in 10 of Brazil’s high school students drop out before the age of 19 and it makes for one of the stupidest cities in Indiana.
4. Lake Station
Adult Population: 8,271
Less Than High School Education: 21.1%
High School Drop Out Rate: 11.8%
Lake Station is just behind Brazil in terms of its adult population without a high school degree, ranking as the 8th worst in the state.
While 1.6% more of the adult population completed high school in Lake Station than in Brazil, the dropout rate in Lake Station is 1.4% higher than Brazil.
With the higher rate of dropouts, Lake Station has a less intelligent future generation than Brazil.
Adult Population: 31,684
Less Than High School Education: 24.0% 4th worst
High School Drop Out Rate: 7.4%
Elkhart’s nickname may be the “The City with a Heart,” but that doesn’t necessarily mean that the city has a brain.
24% of Elkhart’s adult population never completed high school, which is the fourth worst in all of Indiana’s cities with populations over 5,000.
While Elkhart’s dropout rate isn’t as bad as the other cities in the top 5, it’s still pretty bad when 15 students in a class of 200 drop out of high school every year.
6. East Chicago
Adult Population: 16,712
Less Than High School Education: 28.2%
High School Drop Out Rate: 5.7%
Despite having the highest percentage of adults without high school degrees of any city in Indiana, East Chicago is only the sixth dumbest city in Indiana overall.
That’s because East Chicago has a fairly low rate of dropouts (the lowest on this list) of 5.7%, which is only slightly worse than the median rate in Indiana.
Still, the fact that nearly 3 in 10 adults never completed high school means that East Chicago has the least educated adult population in Indiana.
Adult Population: 24,139
Less Than High School Education: 18.5%
High School Drop Out Rate: 11.3%
Richmond’s dropout rate is nearly twice as high as East Chicago’s, but 9.7% more of the adult population in Richmond has their high school degree.
Richmond’s rate of adults without high school degrees and dropout rates are both ranked the 15th worst out of the 90 cities in Indiana we looked at data for.
Adult Population: 7,546
Less Than High School Education: 16.1%
High School Drop Out Rate: 16.1%
Washington’s motto is “A City of Pride and Progress,” but, educationally, there’s no reason for the city to feel proud of its educational progress.
In fact, Washington’s dropout rate of 16.1% is the sixth worst in the state, and is equal to the percentage of the adult population without a high school degree.
That means if this rate continues, the next generation will be exactly as uneducated as its predecessors.
Adult Population: 12,630
Less Than High School Education: 16.9%
High School Drop Out Rate: 12.2%
Shelbyville has the 11th highest rate of high school dropouts in Indiana, with a staggeringly high 12 out 100 students choosing not to complete basic education.
Compared to most cities on this list, the percentage of Shelbyville’s adult population without a GED isn’t so bad, but a city where 17 out of every 100 adults never completed basic education is still really high.
Adult Population: 50,171
Less Than High School Education: 21.0%
High School Drop Out Rate: 7.2%
Hammond is the biggest city to make this list.
More than 1 in 5 of Hammond’s residents never completed high school, which is the ninth worst rate of all Indiana cities with populations greater than 5,000.
Hammond’s 7.2% dropout rate also puts it in the bottom 30% of all Indiana cities, which altogether makes for a really uneducated place to live.
Putting a dunce cap on our analysis
If you’re measuring the locations in Indiana 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 smartest cities in Indiana: Carmel, West Lafayette, Munster, Yorktown, Westfield.
Now that you’ve read about dumb people, you might enjoy reading about 30 things that will definitely happen to you when moving to Indiana.
Or, you might enjoy watching an amazing video shot with a drone in Indiana this summer.
Detailed List Of Dumbest Cities In Indiana