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:
- Kansas City (Photos)
- Liberal (Photos)
- Great Bend (Photos)
- Garden City (Photos)
- Dodge City (Photos)
- Arkansas City (Photos)
- Wichita (Photos)
- Augusta (Photos)
- Junction City (Photos)
- 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
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.
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
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
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
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
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.
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.
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
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
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.
Desktop users can see the complete chart below.
Ranking Of Dumbest Cities In Kansas