Our society is in a constant state of evolution and seems like the established education system is unable to meet its needs leaving, as a result, a high percentage of uneducated people, and that’s why we decided to find out which are the 25 dumbest cities in the US in 2018.
First of all let’s say that when we talk about the dumbest cities in the US in 2018, we are considering the cities, according to the most recent data, with the least amount of people holding high school diplomas, college or any higher type of education. As per the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), a country’s adult education level is estimated by the percentage of people between the ages of 25 and 64 who have completed some kind of tertiary education in the form of a two-year degree, four-year degree or vocational program. Despite having 8 out of the 10 best universities of the world, the USA was ranked 6th by the OECD for adult education levels. Not bad you might say, but unfortunately there are parts of the country where higher education is at a much lower level and where the percentages of people with bachelor degrees and even high school diplomas are very low.
The USA has an average percentage of high school graduates of 87%, finding the lowest amount of graduates in the state of California with 82% which gives a valid reason for considering it the dumbest state in America. On the other hand, the state of Montana holds the highest with 93% of graduates as per the Census Bureau. Recently released data from international math and science assessments indicates that U.S. students continue to rank around the middle of the pack and behind many other advanced industrial nations. We can see that reflected on the SAT results, as we all know it tests students on their math, reading, and writing aptitude, although the writing section is becoming optional. If you were interested in knowing which states scored the least, we suggest you read the article 20 Dumbest States in America by SAT Scores. Many might say those scores are not determinant, and we have to agree that education is more than the grades you get, it’s the tool that helps us develop the perspective on the world around us, building our opinions about things and situations in life. But, let’s face it, the current global economic climate requires well-prepared professionals. In search of becoming competitive professionals many college applicants plan to continue their education abroad, specifically in Europe; but if you thought that European school system guarantees a higher educational level, well, you then will be surprised reading about the 20 dumbest countries in Europe.
Knowledge is power, as a proof of the veracity of this quote we can mention Canada, Australia, and Japan as a few countries with very high literacy rates. These countries are extremely advanced in technology and living standards which allows their citizens to have a high per capita income. A country that invests in education is definitively a prosperous country. In the USA the average investment in public education per student is $11,392. Significant variation exists across states; New York and Alaska spend more than $20,000 per student, while states like Utah and Idaho only spend about a third as much.
Without any doubt, the benefits of a university education remain high. University graduates are more likely to be employed, and according to the World Economic Forum they earn 56% more than those without a degree, and they are less likely to suffer from depression.
In order to present you the ranking of the dumbest cities in U.S. 2018, we have collected the most recent data from WalletHub and compared with the data shown in Open Data Network, choosing cities with a population above 50 000 people in the country. We ranked them according to the percentage of adult residents with a high school diploma, associate’s degree, graduate or professional degree. So keep on reading to find the cities with the lowest percentage of people educated people with bachelor’s and high school diplomas in the U.S., or in simple words the 25 dumbest cities in the US in 2018.
25. Canton, Ohio
This is a city with 72 163 inhabitants. It is known for being home to the Pro Football Hall of Fame, which honors National Football League players, William McKinley Presidential Library and the First Ladies’ National Library. There is a fair amount of high schools both public and private in the city of Canton. However, the closest colleges and universities are located 15 miles or so away from Canton, for example, the Malone University, Stark State College, and Walsh University. Even though it is a relatively small city Canton has an under the average percentage of high school graduates of 82.7%, the college graduation rate is 13.80%, and the percentage of people with a graduate or professional degree is a low 4.10%.
24. Rockford, Illinois
It is the third largest city in the state of Illinois with a population of 147,651 people. It is home to 4 public high schools. In addition to its public school system, there are 27 private schools ranging from elementary to secondary education. Even though Rockford is a large metropolitan area, it doesn’t possess any public university. The high school graduation rate is 82.5%, and only 7.90% of the population holds a professional degree.
23. Grand Prairie, Texas
Once known for being one of the best cities in Texas, Grand Prairie holds a population of 185, 631 people. Public and private high schools are located in the city, and there are 33 colleges or universities within 40 miles around Grand Prairie. This city is on our list of dumbest cities in the US in 2018 for having 79.40% of high school graduates and a percentage of people with a graduate or professional degree of only 6.5%.
22. Allentown, Pennsylvania
It is Pennsylvania’s third most populous city and the 231st largest city in the U.S. with a population of 120,207 people. Allentown was named as a “national success story” in 2016 by the Urban Land Institute for its downtown redevelopment and transformation, one of only six communities in the country to have been named as such. Despite this accomplishment, the city educational level is below the average having a percentage of high school graduates of 76.80% and 5.50% people with a graduate or professional degree.
21. Paterson, New Jersey
With a population of 146,894 inhabitants, the city is serviced by a number of elementary and high schools, as well as the Passaic County Community College. The city is also the host to annual robotics competition at the said college, which is the leading competition of its kind in the entire state. However, despite all that, Paterson still made our list of dumbest cities in the US in 2018, with only 9.0% of the population having a bachelor degree and only 71.20% having high school education.
20. Newark, New Jersey
The city has 280,139 inhabitants. Newark has a number of universities, the most famous of which is definitely Rutgers. The others include New Jersey Institute of Technology and Seton Hall University Law School. Newark made our list of dumbest cities in the US in 2018 due to its relatively low percentage of people with bachelor’s degrees (9.0%), high school graduates of 70.80% and amount of people holding a professional degree of 3.7%.
19. Union City, New Jersey
With a population of 68,975, Union City’s unemployment rate as of September 2009 was 15%, the highest in the state. As per education the Union City, high school is the most representative schools of the city. Of the people living in Union City, only 67% have graduated from high school, and 12.5% have bachelor’s degrees, and only 4.80% hold a professional degree.
18. Laredo, Texas
Known as the only city in Texas to fly under seven flags, Laredo has a population of 236,063 inhabitants. In regards to the education, the United Independent School District of Laredo holds a high number of elementary, middle and high schools. Texas A&M University and Laredo Community college are located here. But the percentage of the population graduated from high schools is still low at 65.3%. Only 17.7% with a college degree and 4.9% with a professional degree.
17. National City, California
National City has a big problem with crime and gang-related issues. The city has a number of elementary schools and middle schools and a single high school, Sweetwater High School. The National City Public Library was opened in 2005 with brand new facilities and one of the biggest computer centers in entire California. One of the big problems in this city is the high crime rate and the gangs. Being this reflected in the education – low percentages of people with bachelor’s degree (9.0%) and high school (57.2%).
16. Rosemead, California
The city features a number of elementary and high schools and the University of the West. However, Rosemead has positioned itself on our list of the dumbest cities in the US in 2018 with 12.9% people with bachelor degrees and only 53.2% with high school diplomas.
15. Brownsville, Texas
The city of Brownsville is home to a number of universities, such as the University of Texas at Brownsville, Texas Southmost College and The University of Texas Science Center at Houston. Despite these and a large number of public and private schools in the city, Brownsville holds a low percentage of people with high school education (51.7%) and with bachelor’s (13.4%). That lack of education has made it gain the fame of the dumbest city in Texas.
14. Pico Rivera, California
As far as the education is concerned, the city is served by the Montebello and El Rancho Unified School Districts, while the nearby universities and colleges in Orange and Los Angeles counties provide higher education. Pico Rivera only has 55.1% of people with high school education and only 7.1% with bachelor’s degree, bad enough to be our number 14th.
13. Hialeah, Florida
The city has a number of primary and secondary schools operating, as well as the Miami-Dade College Hialeah Campus, College of Business and Technology and the Florida National University. Unfortunately, this has not translated so well to the number of educated people, with only 49.8% of them having high school education and only 10.4% with bachelor degrees.
12. Paramount, California
The city struggles with more than 20% of the population living below the poverty line. As per the education, the schools in Paramount are run by the Paramount Unified School District, and there is a number of primary and secondary schools operating, and also is home to a public library. Unfortunately Paramount has a very small percentage of people with bachelor’s degree at 7.0% and with only 50.0% of the population having high school education.
11. Baldwin Park, California
With only 47.5% of people with high school education and 9.0% with bachelor’s degrees, the city appears as one of the least educated cities in the country. Fortunately, the district authorities are aware of the poor education picture in the city and are taking measures to try and improve the results. Today, there are 23 schools within the district with the budget of over $100 million destinated for the education.
10. Camden, New Jersey
Camden has problems of violence and crime as well as corruption. The city of Camden is also failing on the education front, making it to our top 10 in our list of the dumbest cities in the US in 2018 with only 51.0% of the population with finished high school and with only 5.4% of people with bachelor’s degree.
9. Cicero, Illinois
Cicero comprises 17 elementary schools, which makes it one of the largest public school districts outside of Chicago. For high school, students have the option of Morton East high school in the J. Sterling Morton High School District and the city also features Morton College. Sadly, the statistics reflect a low percentage of people with high school education, 48.2% and the population with bachelor’s degree is only 5.9% of the total Cicero population.
8. Compton, California
One of the oldest cities in the county but with a rather young population with an average age of 25, compared to U.S. median of 35. The city of Compton is an impoverished area, and this has its negative effect on the education in the city with only 48.0% of people having a high school education and only 5.9% have bachelor’s degrees.
7. Santa Ana, California
It is the county seat of Orange County and its second most populous city with almost 320,000 inhabitants. Santa Ana is known for its many museums and art galleries as well as for having an extensive Unified School District which features a number of primary and secondary schools. Many Californian universities have branches in Santa Ana, and the Santa Ana College is also located in the city. Unfortunately, the reputation of Santa Ana as the dumbest city or the dumbest city in Orange County has been based on the statistics, the percentage of Santa Ana’s residents with high school education is very low at only 43.2% and the percentage for people with bachelor degrees is not any better, at only 9.2%.
6. El Monte, California
This city has 113 000 inhabitants. Once was the city known for being the birthplace of many successful TV shows. Today, the city is more famous for being one of the least educated cities in the country. El Monte Union High School District features seven of the high schools in this city. Unfortunately, the statistics reflect that only 44.2% of the population has a high school diploma and only 7.1% with bachelor’s degree.
Our top five of the dumbest cities in the US in 2018 are also the dumbest cities in California.
5. South Gate, California
The city of South Gate has suffered a number of corruption scandals and poor economic results which are still plaguing the city. As a consequence of all this, the education has suffered as well, with only 39.9% of the population having high school education and 4.9% with bachelor’s degrees.
4. Linwood, California
The city where more than 20% of people living below the poverty line. Like in so many similar cities, the education has suffered, the result – only 38.5% have high school education while the percentage of people with bachelor’s degree education is 4.5%.
3. East Los Angeles, California
It is the most populous place in California on our list of dumbest cities in the US in 2018, with the population above 126,000. Due to its low percentage of the population with high school diploma (33.7%) and bachelor’s degrees (3.6%) it made it to the top 3 of our list.
2. Huntington Park, California
It is one of the poorest areas in Los Angeles County, with more than 23% of people below the poverty line, and as we know lack of money results in lack of education and this is the case of Huntington Park. It occupies the 2nd place on our list of dumbest cities in the US in 2018, because only 32.2% of the population has finished high school and that only 4.7% of the population has bachelor’s degree-level education.
And the first place in our list of the dumbest cities in the US in 2018 goes to:
1. Florence-Graham, California
It has a population of around 63,000. The fact that Florence-Graham is one of the poorest counties in Los Angeles County has contributed to the fact that this city is the least educated in the entire country. Only 29.1% of the population has high school education while only 2.4% of the population has a bachelor’s degree. With this unfortunate statistics is the first of our list of 25 dumbest cities in the US in 2018 and could also be considered one of the dumbest cities in the world.