These Are The 10 Dumbest Cities In Kansas

We used science and data to determine which Kansas cities are dumb as rocks.

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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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Let’s face it: some places are magnificently stupid.

But how are you supposed to know which places are dummy-central before you go there yourself?

You dig around the data and look for things that make a place stupid, whether it’s because a large portion of a city’s population never completed high school, or the up-and-coming generation doesn’t have enough schools or teachers.

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

  1. Kansas City (Photos)
  2. Liberal (Photos)
  3. Great Bend (Photos)
  4. Garden City (Photos)
  5. Dodge City (Photos)
  6. Arkansas City (Photos)
  7. Wichita (Photos)
  8. Augusta (Photos)
  9. Junction City (Photos)
  10. Fort Scott (Photos)

For more Kansas reading, check out:


How we determined the dumbest cities in the Sunflower 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 Kansas:

  • % of city’s population with less than a high school education (Age 25+)
  • % of high school drop outs (Ages 16-19)

Note: We only looked at cities with populations greater than 5,000, leaving us 43 cities in Kansas to rank. We also looked at the graduation rates of the entire population, not the current rates for high schoolers.


1. Kansas City

Dumbest Kansas

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 148,393
Adults that didn’t graduate high school: 22.2%
High School Drop Outs: 10.5%

Kansas City leads the way with the ‘dumbest’ population in Kansas, when you look at the data. Is that a surprise?

While there are other cities with a higher number of adults who never got a GED, the current dropout rate of KCK teens is 1 in 10. That’s the 2nd highest of all cities we looked at. That means there’s a short-term problem with Kansas City kids staying in school that needs to be addressed.

2. Liberal

Dumbest Kansas

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 20,957
Adults that didn’t graduate high school: 35.1%
High School Drop Outs: 7.4%

Liberal is 2nd in Kansas for the highest number of adults who never completed high school – at a whopping 35%. That’s off-the-charts high, but not even the highest. However, perhaps the younger generation is picking up the slack, since the number of teens that have dropped out is 80% lower.

So when you look at it from a basic education perspective, in general, Liberal is behind the curve in a big way.

3. Great Bend

Dumbest Kansas

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 15,902
Adults that didn’t graduate high school: 17.0%
High School Drop Outs: 8.6%

This city in Barton County is middle of the road in both categories. The number of teens that are currently leaving high school early is higher than in Liberal. But far fewer adults remains uneducated as they get older. Currently, 1 in 8 residents in Great Bend is without a high school degree.

4. Garden City

Dumbest Kansas

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 26,967
Adults that didn’t graduate high school: 30.3%
High School Drop Outs: 5.6%

3 out of 10 residents of Garden City is walking around without a high school degree, which is the 3rd highest number in the state of Kansas. Despite the fact that there’s a community college here, adults are simply not getting a quality education, even by the age of 25.

However, perhaps the younger generation is making a change, since ‘only’ 5% of kids ages 16-19 are currently not enrolled in high school.

5. Dodge City

Dumbest Kansas

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 28,438
Adults that didn’t graduate high school: 35.8%
High School Drop Outs: 3.6%

There are three institutions of higher learning in Dodge City, but despite that fact, nearly 36% of adults hasn’t even received a GED by the age of 25. That’s just about as high as you’ll see in the Sunflower State.

However, Dodge City ranks 5th because the dropout rate is actually below the state average.

6. Arkansas City

Dumbest Kansas

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 12,238
Adults that didn’t graduate high school: 16.1%
High School Drop Outs: 4.4%

Former superstar Elizabeth Taylor might be turning over in her grave if she knew her former hometown ranked so high on a ‘dumb’ list, but it’s a fact; while the high schoolers are doing their part, there’s an adult population here that’s simply one of the most uneducated in the state.

7. Wichita

Dumbest Kansas

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 386,805
Adults that didn’t graduate high school: 12.9%
High School Drop Outs: 5.3%

Three universities have their main campuses in Wichita, so, while there might be a lot of really smart temporary residents of Wichita, the permanent adult population is somewhat uneducated. Nearly 13% of Wichitans never completed high school, even by their mid twenties.

8. Augusta

Dumbest Kansas

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 9,290
Adults that didn’t graduate high school: 10.3%
High School Drop Outs: 13.5%

Augusta has a problem on its hands regarding its youth: 13.5% of the teens are currently not attending high school. That’s far higher than in Wichita.

But the adult population has a lower rate of uneducated adults, making Augusta slightly more educated than Wichita.

9. Junction City

Dumbest Kansas

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 25,393
Adults that didn’t graduate high school: 10.2%
High School Drop Outs: 16.2%

Junction City and Augusta have essentially the same educational situations: Middle of the road adult graduation rates and a high teenage dropout rate.

In fact, currently, Junction City’s dropout rate is by far the highest in Kansas. There must be a lot of kids wandering around the streets during the week when, instead, they should be sitting in math and science class.

Not that those are any fun or anything.

10. Fort Scott

Dumbest Kansas

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 7,494
Adults that didn’t graduate high school: 13.8%
High School Drop Outs: 4.2%

Fort Scott rounds out the top 10 dumbest cities in the state of Kansas. Like several other cities above, the adult population is far less educated than the kids.

That’s a good sign that maybe the younger generation is realizing the value of a good education. As most people know, it’s just nearly impossible to maintain a stable life when you never completed high school.

Putting a dunce cap on our analysis of Kansas

If you’re measuring the locations in Kansas where there are a high number of teenage dropouts and adults who never received a formal education, this is an accurate list.

The Dumbest Cities In Kansas, with detailed information


Desktop users can see the complete chart below.

Ranking Of Dumbest Cities In Kansas

City Rank Adult Population Adults Without High School Diploma Teenage High School Drop Outs
Kansas City 1 91,767 22.2% 10.5%
Liberal 2 11,734 35.1% 7.4%
Great Bend 3 10,190 17.0% 8.6%
Garden City 4 15,737 30.3% 5.6%
Dodge City 5 15,870 35.8% 3.6%
Arkansas City 6 7,519 16.1% 4.4%
Wichita 7 244,805 12.9% 5.3%
Augusta 8 6,175 10.3% 13.5%
Junction City 9 13,880 10.2% 16.2%
Fort Scott 10 5,118 13.8% 4.2%
Topeka 11 84,156 11.3% 5.8%
Winfield 12 7,856 10.6% 8.1%
Salina 13 31,038 11.8% 5.3%
Newton 14 12,882 11.8% 4.6%
Emporia 15 13,936 15.4% 2.5%
Hutchinson 16 28,329 12.3% 3.0%
Parsons 17 6,646 12.8% 2.5%
Coffeyville 18 6,537 16.9% 0.0%
Atchison 19 6,057 8.2% 5.3%
El Dorado 20 8,008 8.0% 5.1%
Leavenworth 21 22,992 9.2% 3.4%
McPherson 22 9,025 6.9% 4.8%
Ottawa 23 8,064 10.4% 1.9%
Haysville 24 6,780 8.8% 2.5%
Chanute 25 5,924 9.5% 1.6%
Independence 26 5,862 10.3% 1.0%
Pittsburg 27 10,721 9.9% 1.5%
Wellington 28 5,475 8.2% 1.9%
Derby 29 15,078 4.0% 5.0%
Lansing 30 7,771 8.4% 0.0%
Shawnee 31 41,364 5.5% 2.4%
Olathe 32 80,833 6.0% 1.5%
Mission 33 6,753 4.5% 2.7%
Merriam 34 7,897 7.0% 0.0%
Gardner 35 12,103 5.8% 0.8%
Lawrence 36 48,204 5.1% 1.5%
Hays 37 11,916 5.8% 0.0%
Lenexa 38 33,660 4.0% 2.1%
Overland Park 39 122,790 3.6% 1.7%
Manhattan 40 26,403 4.5% 0.3%
Andover 41 7,248 3.3% 0.0%
Leawood 42 22,176 0.8% 0.4%
Prairie Village 43 15,977 1.4% 0.0%

2 thoughts on “These Are The 10 Dumbest Cities In Kansas

  1. This article has got to be the most insulting and moronic piece I have ever seen. The sentence, “We understand that since most of Liberal’s economy is based on agriculture, that a high school degree might not be as important as it might be if Liberal’s economy was more technology focused.” nearly made me throw my laptop! That has got to be the most offensive thing I have ever read. Really?? Do you think we in agriculture are still in the 1800’s? Do you think we still work the ground by ox and plow? Are we standing around barefoot and chewing on a wheat sprig? Astounding. Our family has operated a family farm for over 40 years. The skills that a farmer needs in this modern world would make your head spin. We use the highest technology available to us in producing the world’s food. Today’s farmer is an accountant, agronomist, banker, biologist, botanists, chemist, computer programmer, ecologist, economist, etymologist, marketing specialist, mechanic, meteorologist, and innumerable and extensive other specialists. Farmers are at the forefront of technology. They manage more information and maximize the performance of their tools, labor, machinery, resources, seed, animals, fertilizer, chemicals, etc all in the name of quality food production for the world. We are stewards of the land for future generations and take that very seriously. If you checked your facts, many have post secondary educations in a specialty area of agriculture or a complimentary field. Not finishing school is not a wise idea for success in this field. We aren’t hicks or no-nothings. We are professionals.

    1. Well said!! I am from Syracuse, KS and our lifestyle is greatly made up by the farms, dairies, and feedyards. People commonly assume that because we grew up doing physical labor ect that we simply MUST be uneducated and/or downright stupid. I’m on the path to attaining my PhD in advanced mathematics, with a minor in accounting. People I went to school with are literally making over a million dollars a year… oh, and we are all under 26 years of age. Never underestimate the value of a man or woman raised in an agricultural background.

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