These Are The 10 Most Redneck Cities In Michigan

We used science and data to determine which cities in MI are real redneck heaven.

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This article is an opinion based on facts and is meant as info-tainment. Don’t freak out.

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Edit: We have a video version available. Click here to see a hilarious video summary of the 10 most redneck cities in Michigan.

Is there anything really wrong with being called a Michigan redneck?

It’s a part of our culture. Rednecks are hailed as being great in our song lyrics. They’re prominently featured in reality television. There are even video games about rednecks.

So, you’d think people who are rednecks would be proud to be called a redneck.

Wait. What is a redneck anyways? Well, according to the official bible of literature, the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, a redneck is:

“A white person who lives in a small town or in the country especially in the southern U.S., who typically has a working-class job, and who is seen by others as being uneducated and having opinions and attitudes that are offensive.”

Plus, we thought why not add in a few stereotypes? Cause, you know, rednecks like to hunt, fish, drink, smoke and shoot things. And shop at Walmart.

Using that criteria, it’s not hard to scrape the internet, run some scientific data on where the most members of the Michigan redneck family tree most likely live.

Because, the data never lies, does it?

So, hold our beers and watch this. After analyzing all cities with a decent amount of people in them, we came up with this list as The Most Redneck Cities in Michigan:

  1. Sturgis (Photos)
  2. Utica (Photos)
  3. Niles (Photos)
  4. Sault Ste. Marie (Photos)
  5. Three Rivers (Photos)
  6. Port Huron (Photos)
  7. Houghton (Photos)
  8. Iron River
  9. Iron Mountain
  10. Owosso (Photos)

Many of these are the types of places where people have deer horns on their hoods and where people wear camo to church. Michigan rednecks are different than rednecks of the south. They’re more into the outdoors.

Read on below to see where your town ranked.

For more Michigan reading, check out:


What redneck criteria did we use?

In order to rank the most redneck cities in Michigan, we had to determine what criteria makes a redneck.

We threw a lot of criteria at this one in order to get the best, most complete results possible. Using Yelp and Google Maps, this is the criteria we used:

The dictionary definition categories

  • Small towns
  • Least amount of high school graduates
  • Lives in the south or midwest

And the stereotypical categories

  • Number of dive bars per city
  • Number of mobile home parks per capita
  • Number of tobacco stores per city
  • Number of places to get fishing gear
  • Number of guns and ammo stores per city
  • Walmarts, Golden Corrals, Bass Pro Shops, and Dollar Generals nearby

Note: For the sake of getting reliable numbers, we counted places within a city’s border, as well as within a short driving distance.


1. Sturgis

Redneck got a bird. From D & R Always Outdoors Facebook page, Sturgis, MI..

Population: 10,988
High school graduation rate: 73%
Walmart rank: 6th in Michigan
Mobile home parks per capita: 12th in the state

Whoo-whee, Sturgis! You have the official bragging rights as being named the most redneck city in the entire state of Michigan. You may now brag to your friends and share this endlessly on your Facebook walls.

Sturgis is located way down on the Indiana state line. And when you look at the data, it’s clear that the place is crawling with rednecks. Sturgis ranks 12th in the state for mobile home parks per capita, and has plenty of places to get fishing bait.

Like a lot of Michigan, there are tons of spots in the area to fish and hunt. Sturgis might not be your first choice for deer and turkey hunting, but since it’s so isolated, you can bet there are tons of buck and tom tags filled each fall down there.

And, when you consider that 1 out of 4 people here didn’t finish high school, it’s clear. Sturgis is redneck central.

Edit: Due to popular demand, we now have Sturgis is #1 Redneck City in Michigan t shirts! Click here to get a men’s and click here to get a women’s.

2. Utica

Gander Mountain in Utica, MI. Google Maps

Population: 4,748
Fishing stores per capita: 1st
Chew factor: 1st
Mobile home parks: 2nd in Michigan

It was close, Utica, but you were edged out by Sturgis. But when you look at the sheer number of rednecky things in Utica, you can imagine that everyone who lives here must be a redneck.

Utica ranks first in the state for fishing/bait shops in the area, and has a chew factor of 1. Meaning there are more tobacco stores in the Utica area than anywhere else, per capita, in the state.

Utica rednecks are more city folk – the ones who are likely to shop at Dollar General and Walmart. It’s just outside of the northern suburbs of Detroit.

However, there are also several mobile home parks in the area, too. Can you think of a more redneck friendly place in Michigan? You have your cheap living, cheap groceries, plenty of bars, and a few good fishing spots.

When did a ‘No Fishing’ sign ever stop a determined redneck?

3. Niles

Customer of the Rusty Hooks Bait & Tackle, Miles, MI. From their Facebook page.

Population: 11,594
Gun stores per capita: 4th in Michigan
Fishing/bait shops per capita: 11th in the state
High school graduation rank: 75%

Niles is way down on the Indiana state line as well. Meaning the southern Michigan border might be redneck row.

Here, rednecks have lots of places to buy guns, ammo and fishing gear. And it makes sense; the St. Joseph River goes right through town, making it easy to fly fish for steelhead and salmon.

Just think, Niles residents. Only 3 out of 4 of you graduated high school. Had you studied even less, you might have ranked higher on this list. A real redneck is out mudding, fishing and blowing things up. Not sitting in math class on a Wednesday morning.

4. Sault Ste. Marie

Woody’s One Shop, Sault Ste. Marie, MI. Google Maps

Population: 14,251
High school graduation rate: 80%
Guns and ammo per capita: 12th in Michigan
Fishing/bait per capita:9th in the state

There’s some Yooper love. Finally, right? In fact, you’ll find that several cities in the U.P. are coming up. No one is going to argue that it’s not redneck central up there.

In Sault Ste. Marie, there’s obviously lots of fishing and hunting opportunities, as is evident in the number of gun and fishing places up there. Rednecks are free to pretty much do whatever they want in this part of the state. And they damn near do just that.

5. Three Rivers

Gunslingers Gun Store, Three Rivers, MI. Google Maps

Population: 7,792
High school graduation rate: 78%
Mobile home parks: 6th in Michigan
Dollar stores per capita: 10th
Chew factor: 14

A town named Three Rivers is most likely going to be crawling rednecks. There’s obviously plenty of fishing nearby. And plenty of places to buy cheap bait.

Rednecks here have it made. They can sit on their back decks, throw back a case of Busch Lights and stick their poles in the water, all while listening to the Michigan-Michigan State game on the dial.

It might be redneck heaven down here.

6. Port Huron

Anderson Pro Bait, Port Huron, MI. Google Maps

Population: 30,253
High school graduation rate: 79%
Fishing/bait shops per capita: 12th
Bars per capita: 13th in the state

Port Huron is a very white city where we should refer to the people here as rednecks with paychecks, because they are far more successful than their redneck peers across the rest of the state.

Many of the rednecks here probably have the nicer Chevys and Fords, and maybe even have a boat. They are most likely the rednecks who take weekend trips out on Lake Huron.

The Canadians who live across the bridge from Port Huron probably have a puzzled look when a nice boat pulls by with a bunch of beer toting, country music blaring Michigan rednecks in it.

God Bless America.

7. Houghton

Downtowner Lounge, Houghton, MI. Google Maps

Population: 7,692
Walmart rank: 3rd in Michigan
Gun stores per capita: 12th
Bars per person: 10th in the state

You Houghton rednecks have it all figured out don’t you? You got a little bit of everything way up there. Places to get gear and tackle, guns and ammo, and a Walmart all to your very own. No lines for cheap bait and doe urine!

There are also several area bars up here where Houghton rednecks can sit around and speculate on when rut’s gonna hit. It’s the type of redneck place where each bar has a running total on who shot the most deer that fall.

Poor, poor deer. You have no chance up here.

8. Iron River

Kermit’s Bar, Pizza Pub, Iron River, MI. Google Maps

Population: 3,308
Fishing/bait shops per capita: 2nd in Michigan
Bars per capita: 4th in the state
Dollar Store rank: 5th

You Yoopers. You sure do know how to redneck it up, don’t you? This is the type of place where rednecks let their bird dogs roam free and they probably come back with their own dinner.

Iron River is a teeny speck in what might be the most rural and highly concentrated area of redneckness in the entire state. There’s endless fishing and hunting up here, and chances are, you can probably fill your moose tag on opening day from a stand in your own back yard.

Actually, these are rednecks we’re talking about. They have deer stands up in their front yards in Iron River.

9. Iron Mountain

Off the Wally’s, Iron Mountain, MI. Google Maps

Population: 7,662
Bars per capita: 7th in Michigan
Walmart rank: 8th
Gun stores per capita: 5th in the state

If you were a redneck born in Iron Mountain, you could spend your entire life within a short truck drive away from Iron Mountain and never even need to see the outside world. You may not even know that a world outside of Iron Mountain redneckness even existed.

Why would a redneck ever leave? You have everything a redneck could ever wish for right at your finger tips in Iron Mountain

Except a Golden Corral. You’d have to drive all the way to Wisconsin to get that. All you can eat catfish fritters and spuds? “Jump in the truck, kiddo, you ain’t seen anything like this.”

10. Owosso

Larry’s Gunsmithing, Owosso, MI. Google Maps

Population: 15,239
High school graduation rate: 80%
Chew factor: 6
Fishing/bait stores per capita: 12th in the state

Owosso is a short drive west of Flint, where it’s 97% white, and a very blue collar crowd. There’s plenty of places to get chew, bait and Walmart exists here.

The rednecks here are far, far different than those in the U.P. In fact, if you dropped an Owosso redneck off in the middle of the Upper Peninsula, he’d be lost without his Dollar General and trailer parks. He’d survive, though.

Rednecks always survive.

There You Have It

According to the official dictionary definition of a redneck, and based on stereotypes that the internet says are true, using science to determine the most redneck cities in a state can’t be too far off. If you’re analyzing smaller cities in Michigan with blue collar workers, where people have lots of options for drinking, fishing, hunting and Walmarting, this is an accurate list.

If you’re curious enough, here are the least redneck places in Michigan:

  1. Waverly (Pop. 24,567)
  2. Northview (Pop. 14,691)
  3. Westwood (Pop. 8,952)
  4. Roosevelt Park (Pop. 3,380)
  5. Shields (Pop. 6,540)

We also wrote a story on the worst places to live in Michigan if you haven’t seen it yet. Click here to read it.

Edit: We have a video version available. Click here to see a hilarious video summary of the 10 most redneck cities in Michigan.

City Population Rank
Sturgis 10988 1
Utica 4748 2
Niles 11594 3
Sault Ste. Marie 14251 4
Three Rivers 7792 5
Port Huron 30253 6
Houghton 7692 7
Iron River 3038 8
Iron Mountain 7662 9
Owosso 15139 10
St. Louis 7404 11
South Haven 4458 12
Traverse City 14702 13
Petoskey 5710 14
Plymouth 9070 15
Ironwood 5366 16
Wolverine Lake 4321 17
Wayland 4079 18
South Lyon 11306 19
Ypsilanti 19638 20
Walled Lake 7014 21
Richmond 5720 22
Wyandotte 25839 23
Hancock 4627 24
St. Ignace 2778 25
Williamston 3834 26
Portland 3898 27
Northville 5996 27
Swartz Creek 5717 29
Rochester 12647 30
Southgate 29879 31
Marquette 21383 32
Escanaba 12609 33
Manistique 3102 34
Wayne 17562 35
Whitmore Lake 6299 36
Springfield 5250 37
Menominee 8603 38
Otsego 3955 39
Sparta 4162 40
Gladstone 4960 41
Zeeland 5561 42
Riverview 12451 43
Rockford 5710 44
Trenton 18792 45
Kingsford 5164 46
St. Joseph 8358 47
Oak Park 29523 48
Romulus 23790 49
River Rouge 7951 50
Wixom 13544 51
Saline 8845 52
Temperance 8810 53
Norway 2864 54
Tecumseh 8523 55
St. Clair 5508 55
Woodhaven 12800 57
Ishpeming 6500 58
Okemos 20885 59
Negaunee 4581 60
St. Johns 7890 61
Wolf Lake 4539 62
South Monroe 6502 63
Vandercook Lake 4722 64
Walker 23600 64
Shields 6540 66
Norton Shores 23934 67
Roosevelt Park 3830 68
Westwood 8952 69
Northview 14691 70
Waverly 24567 71

11 thoughts on “These Are The 10 Most Redneck Cities In Michigan

  1. I am proud of my redneck son…he is so redneck his son tthinks its a nationality! Now if only I could get him to back to hhis hometown #6 on the list! I am sure this article was written as a tongue in check and not to be taken seriously!

  2. So out of curiosity. Which town did whoever wrote this article live in? So many spelling errors, they had to contribute to the low high school graduation rate.

  3. Has anyone who participated in this ‘article’ actually been to Michigan? There are redneck towns for sure… But, if you’re going to make a joke, make it a good one, at least include photos that are actually amusing – Gander Mountain and random houses aren’t.

    But some of the places listed here fall so far away from the Redneck zone, you should probably change your criteria. It almost could have been amusing… But then it just wasn’t.

    As a post script… Nicely done to the Mayor and the other gentleman involved with the high school in Sturgis. Your responses were well said and appropriate defenses of places you are clearly proud of. Already a major factor belying the ‘facts’ of this ‘article’.

  4. You left out Lapeer we have a chew factor of at least 25 I even see some of the younger girls 14 to 17 with the bubble in there lip!

  5. I would call their use of statistics lazy, but actually I think they must have put some effort into being so intentionally disingenuous.

    Interesting focus on the # of bars for Houghton, MI. They must have deliberately left out the fact that this is because Houghton is a college town, home to Michigan Technological University.

    In addition to its permanent residents, Houghton is home to about 7,000 students getting degrees in electrical/mechanical/biomedical/etc engineering, biology, chemistry, physics, computer science, etc. Not to mention all of the faculty teaching and producing world class research in these fields. And yes, college towns tend to have bars in them.

    Interesting also how they left out the 95.45% high school graduation rate. I guess that wouldn’t have fit into their deception.

    Interesting use of a blurry, dark photo of one particular bar here. Google image Houghton, MI if you want to see one of the most beautiful cities in the state.

    There are plenty of “super yoopers” up here as we affectionately call them — decent, hard working, outdoors loving people. If someone wanted to call them rednecks, I wouldn’t be offended by that. I’m mostly offended by just how truly poorly done and deliberately misleading this article was.

  6. If Rob Sisson and the Mayor of Sturgis don’t want people visiting their community because they’ve been ranked as #1 Redneck City in Michigan, please have them send these people 12 miles East to Bronson. We would welcome more visitors and tourists during our Polish Festival in July. We have many opportunities for new businesses on the main street, many affordable homes on the market (including several on all-sports lakes within 5 minutes of downtown), many affordable sites for new manufacturing businesses, a solid School system, a Frank Lloyd-Wright designed City Office made entirely of plastic, and the largest Gladiola farms in the Nation. We even have a business that offers accomodations and guides for Deer Hunting in a contained several hundred acre area. Not to mention our Dollar General and local Bait shop. We don’t need a Golden Corral, we have Bill’s Steak House – the finest steaks in Southern Michigan since the 1950’s. Our local volunteer Fire Department is rated as one of the top 10 in Michigan. We have the largest Snowmobile and Motorsports Auction service in the Midwest. If you want redneck, we used to have more Bars per capita than Churches, including the infamous Matteson House, and now some of our best dining is at the local Bowling Alley. Is that redneck? You decide. What can I say, it’s a Polish town. We’re proud of it and will celebrate its 150 Birthday in 2016.

    If Sturgis doesn’t want your visit, check out Bronson. We’ll be as redneck as you like.

  7. What a shallow article. I live in Texas and maintain a summer home on a wonderful lake in Sturgis. I know something about rednecks. Sturgis is not redneck. If the writer knew anything about a) rednecks, b) Sturgis, c) what the hell he’s talking about, this article would not have been written. Who’s the editor? Fact check much? Sturgis has a rich history of entrepreneurialism and has produced many incredibly bright and successful individuals. That Sturgis is located in an incredibly fertile region does not equate to redneck. In fact, some of the largest seed companies in the U.S. are based in St. Joseph county. These companies and their employees are on the cutting edge of food science and helping to feed the world. I could go on but this article is so off base that it merits no further discussion other than too say that it is offensive, distasteful in concept, and poorly executed.

  8. born and raised in Michigan, and I’ve got to tell you, Orangeville Township just south of Wayland has more rednecks than any other area in Michigan! Guess they didn’t make the cut because they only have one bar.

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