The 10 Dumbest Places In Pennsylvania For 2023

The dumbest places in Pennsylvania are Reading and West York for 2023 based on Saturday Night Science.

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

A recent study we published found that Pennsylvania is actually the 23rd smartest state in the United States, with an average IQ of 100.

But that doesn’t mean that a few cities in Pennsylvania 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 Keystone 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 173 cities in Pennsylvania to rank. You can take a look at the data below.

For more Pennsylvania reading, check out:

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

The 10 Dumbest Places In Pennsylvania For 2023

Reading, PA

Source: Wikipedia User Flickr upload bot | CC BY-SA 2.0
Overall SnackAbility

Population: 94,161
% Adult High School Dropout: 28.0%
% Highly Educated: 11.0%
More on Reading:  Cost Of Living | Crime Report

West York, PA

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

Population: 5,038
% Adult High School Dropout: 19.0%
% Highly Educated: 9.0%
More on West York:  | Crime Report

Lebanon, PA

Source: Wikipedia User Search4Lancer at English Wikipedia | GFDL
Overall SnackAbility

Population: 26,611
% Adult High School Dropout: 20.0%
% Highly Educated: 10.0%
More on Lebanon:  Cost Of Living | Crime Report

Hazleton, PA

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

Population: 29,339
% Adult High School Dropout: 25.0%
% Highly Educated: 13.0%
More on Hazleton:  Cost Of Living | Crime Report

Shamokin, PA

Source: Wikipedia User Doug Kerr from Albany, NY, United States | CC BY-SA 2.0
Overall SnackAbility

Population: 6,981
% Adult High School Dropout: 19.0%
% Highly Educated: 13.0%
More on Shamokin:  Cost Of Living | Crime Report

Chester, PA

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

Population: 32,819
% Adult High School Dropout: 16.0%
% Highly Educated: 13.0%
More on Chester:  Cost Of Living | Crime Report

Overall SnackAbility

Population: 5,076
% Adult High School Dropout: 24.0%
% Highly Educated: 16.0%
More on West Hazleton:  | Crime Report

York, PA

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

Population: 44,692
% Adult High School Dropout: 20.0%
% Highly Educated: 16.0%
More on York:  Cost Of Living | Crime Report

Johnstown, PA

Source: Wikipedia User Greg Hume | CC BY-SA 2.5
Overall SnackAbility

Population: 18,647
% Adult High School Dropout: 15.0%
% Highly Educated: 14.0%
More on Johnstown:  Cost Of Living | Crime Report

Coatesville, PA

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

Population: 13,306
% Adult High School Dropout: 18.0%
% Highly Educated: 16.0%
More on Coatesville:  Cost Of Living

Methodology: How we determined the dumbest cities in the Keystone 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 Pennsylvania:

  • % 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 Pennsylvania from dumbest to brightest.

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

There You Have It – Now That You’re Asleep

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

  1. Swarthmore
  2. Fox Chapel
  3. Franklin Park

For more Pennsylvania reading, check out:

Detailed List Of The Dumbest Cities In Pennsylvania For 2023

Rank City Population
1 Reading, PA 94,161
2 West York, PA 5,038
3 Lebanon, PA 26,611
4 Hazleton, PA 29,339
5 Shamokin, PA 6,981
6 Chester, PA 32,819
7 West Hazleton, PA 5,076
8 York, PA 44,692
9 Johnstown, PA 18,647
10 Coatesville, PA 13,306
11 Columbia, PA 10,243
12 Berwick, PA 10,355
13 Lehighton, PA 5,267
14 Mount Carmel, PA 5,740
15 Collingdale, PA 8,857
16 Allentown, PA 125,250
17 Red Lion, PA 6,478
18 Hanover, PA 16,291
19 Wilkes-Barre, PA 44,086
20 Sunbury, PA 9,729
21 Plymouth, PA 5,765
22 Mckeesport, PA 17,935
23 Clifton Heights, PA 6,806
24 Sharon, PA 13,203
25 Folcroft, PA 6,738
26 New Castle, PA 21,992
27 Duquesne, PA 5,280
28 Nanticoke, PA 10,588
29 Tamaqua, PA 6,940
30 Uniontown, PA 9,988
31 Oxford, PA 5,671
32 Harrisburg, PA 49,969
33 Darby, PA 10,688
34 Turtle Creek, PA 5,136
35 Bangor, PA 5,203
36 Corry, PA 6,251
37 Tyrone, PA 5,473
38 Carbondale, PA 8,828
39 Beaver Falls, PA 9,069
40 Waynesboro, PA 10,871
41 Bradford, PA 7,913
42 Scranton, PA 75,987
43 Erie, PA 95,536
44 Lancaster, PA 58,034
45 Bristol, PA 9,847
46 Pottsville, PA 13,413
47 Easton, PA 27,860
48 Washington, PA 13,322
49 Punxsutawney, PA 5,793
50 Aliquippa, PA 9,237
51 East Stroudsburg, PA 9,820
52 Mckees Rocks, PA 5,930
53 New Holland, PA 5,743
54 Connellsville, PA 7,092
55 Ephrata, PA 13,767
56 Vandergrift, PA 5,065
57 Milton, PA 6,641
58 St. Marys, PA 12,771
59 Pittston, PA 7,589
60 Exeter, PA 5,516
61 Wilson, PA 8,215
62 Titusville, PA 5,314
63 Palmerton, PA 5,585
64 Steelton, PA 6,217
65 Altoona, PA 44,114
66 Stroudsburg, PA 5,870
67 Somerset, PA 6,059
68 Chambersburg, PA 22,141
69 Souderton, PA 7,131
70 Sharon Hill, PA 5,952
71 Lock Haven, PA 8,458
72 Millersville, PA 7,698
73 Philadelphia, PA 1,596,865
74 Taylor, PA 6,281
75 Jeannette, PA 8,835
76 Kennett Square, PA 5,959
77 New Brighton, PA 5,743
78 California, PA 5,628
79 Clairton, PA 6,245
80 Monessen, PA 6,941
81 Williamsport, PA 27,908
82 Nazareth, PA 6,016
83 Olyphant, PA 5,359
84 Lansdale, PA 18,509
85 Greenville, PA 5,578
86 Manheim, PA 5,036
87 Meadville, PA 12,999
88 Dubois, PA 7,548
89 Sayre, PA 5,484
90 West Mifflin, PA 19,638
91 Butler, PA 13,452
92 Shippensburg, PA 5,668
93 Duryea, PA 5,022
94 Glenolden, PA 7,187
95 Bethlehem, PA 75,599
96 Northampton, PA 10,328
97 Hermitage, PA 16,240
98 Lewisburg, PA 5,336
99 Schuylkill Haven, PA 5,263
100 Clearfield, PA 5,991
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.

5 thoughts on “The 10 Dumbest Places In Pennsylvania For 2023

  1. Kennett Square may be on the dumb list but apparently the writer is not very bright either! Kennett Square is nowhere near New Jersey. If the writer meant Delaware border, they are still wrong because Kennett Square is not on the Delaware boarder either. Kennett TOWNSHIP is on the Delaware border but that is an entirely different municipality.

  2. “We used science and data to determine which cities in PA are real dummies.”

    I’m not sure if science was actually used in this. The data was, poorly.

    I’m also not too sure about the legitimacy of this website in general. I’ll have to add it to the list of “special derp derp” news sites out there.

  3. Whoever wrote this must have done their research in one of the above mentioned bars. Not only is Shenandoah in the east central county of Schuylkill, it hasn’t been part of Northumberland County since the early 1800’s.

  4. Author is a complete ignoramus. How is a bar to library ratio even remotely a scientific way to determine a community’s average intellectual capabilities? Many of these numbers are far more closely related to local economic trends, not intellect. Oops, but I am a man, so I guess my degree and experience in Geography and Geospatial Technology mean less than the poorly written piecemeal pseudoscience some unemployed English major puked onto her blog one day while she felt particularly better than people living in lower-income communities. Many of said communities either contain high concentrations of first generation immigrants working predominantly unskilled labor jobs or higher percentages of non-white people. How about this, before you start calling entire towns stupid in the name of “girl power”, go to one of these libraries you’re so fond of and try to get a basic understanding of micro- and macro- economic trends over time. Then look up more demographic information than the 4 or 5 things that liberal arts degree (that your parents paid for) taught you about. Maybe toss in some local economic history to your research. Maybe about then you would learn that you are, in fact, the dummy in this situation. Not having a GED doesn’t indicate stupidity. Neither does going to bars or being a man. Your logic is flawed. Your writing lacks substance. You are a hack, a vapid vacuum of talent and any creative substance, and a detriment to the cause of racial, economic, and sexual equality. My evidence for such claims was provided in the article above. It’s hard to make “dumb” communities the punchline of a joke, while your “career” is the punchline of the joke that is your life. Please consider finding another “profession”. You are bad at this. May I suggest bartender? Evidently there are quite a few bars out there, and I feel like that might be your speed.

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