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The Rudest Cities & States In America, As Ranked By Americans

by SharonKurheg

If you’re reading this blog, I’ll assume that you’ve done some traveling in your life. The extent of it may vary from person to person but I’d hazard a guess that you’ve been to at least a couple of states in the United States. And I bet you’ve made your opinion of, of the states you’ve been to, which states had people who were the nicest and which had ones who were not. Or maybe you’ve not been to some certain states but have heard stories or stereotypes about them that least you to believe how nice or not nice they are.

Well, they did a survey of people just like you :-)…

A couple of years ago, Business Insider and SurveyMonkey teamed up to conduct a survey of more than 2,000 American adults, asking them to choose the five rudest cities in the U.S. from a list of the 50 biggest cities.

The polls were from a national sample balanced by census data of age and gender and respondents were incentivized to complete the surveys through charitable contributions. The two polls for the survey had a total of 2,092 respondents: 1,075 respondents were collected 10/25/19 – 10/26/19, and 1,017 respondents were collected 11/22/19 – 11/23/19. They were conducted on the internet and there was a margin error of 2%.

New York City was the winner (loser?), after it was voted by 34.3% of respondents as the city with the rudest citizens. Los Angeles came in second place, with 19.7% of respondents saying they were the worst. Washington D.C. was ranked #3, and Chicago, Boston, Detroit, Buffalo, Baltimore, Philadelphia and San Francisco rounded out the top ten of the rudest of the rude.

When the results were released late last year, New Yorkers interviewed by the New York Post did not take the news well, with responses such as, “Screw those people. Half the people probably haven’t been here!” (which may be true; it didn’t sound like ever visiting a city had anything to do with voting on rudeness).

“We’re kind of gruff,” added a 21-year-old Long Island resident, “but we’re kind-hearted when you get to know us.” (Note from Sharon: I lived in NYC for 35 years. This is absolutely true.)

Here’s the full list:

1. New York, N.Y.
2. Los Angeles, Calif.
3. Washington D.C.
4. Chicago, Ill.
5. Boston, Mass.
6. Detroit, Mich.
7. Buffalo, N.Y.
8. Baltimore, Md.
9. Philadelphia, Pa.
10. San Francisco, Calif.
11. Birmingham, Ala.
12. Atlanta, Ga.
13. Las Vegas, Nev.
14. Dallas, Texas
15. Miami, Fla.
16. Austin, Texas
17. Jacksonville, Fla.
18. Houston, Texas
19. Cleveland, Ohio
20. Tampa, Fla.
21. Sacramento, Calif.
22. San Diego, Calif.
23. Pittsburgh, Pa.
24. Cincinnati, Ohio
25. Charlotte, N.C.
26. Hartford, Conn.
27. Indianapolis, Ind.
28. Seattle, Wash.
29. San Jose, Calif.
30. St. Louis, Mo.
31. Columbus, Ohio
32. Kansas City, Mo.
33. Nashville, Tenn.
34. Portland, Ore.
35. New Orleans, La.
36. Memphis, Tenn.
37. Louisville, Ky.
38. San Antonio, Texas
39. Oklahoma City, Okla.
40. Orlando, Fla.
41. Riverside, Calif.
42. Virginia Beach, Va.
43. Phoenix, Ariz.
44. Denver, Colo.
45. Richmond, Va.
46. Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minn.
47. Salt Lake City, Utah
48. Providence, R.I.
49. Milwaukee, Wis.
50. Raleigh, N.C.

But wait! There’s more!

Business Insider doesn’t appear to have updated its list for 2020. And then the pandemic happened (which is a good enough excuse for anything for years to come…). But another publication, BestLife, apparently did their own research of the rudest states in 2020, using (take a deep breath):

  • Business Insider’s data (as seen above) from 2019 (as well as each state’s population so they could figure out the percent of each state that were considered rude)
  • Insurify’s “Cities With The Rudest Drivers
  • Big 7 Travel’s poll of 2.5 million social media followers of “how unfriendly each state is”
  • LivePerson’s analyzations of conversations with customer service agents across 500 brands to see which residents cursed the most

to find out what states had the rudest citizens in the U.S. And THEIR Top 10 rudest states turned out to be:

10. Idaho
9. California
8. Rhode Island
7. Massachusetts
6. Utah
5. Alaska
4. Iowa
3. Washington (state)
2. Virginia
1. New York

You can click here for the rest of their list, as well as specifics (i.e. rudest city in each state, percentage of rude drivers, etc.) for each of their rankings.

Feature Photo: Pixy.org

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This post first appeared on Your Mileage May Vary


bbqfooddude January 26, 2020 - 7:12 pm

I have lived about half my life in Washington state and half my life in Alabama. I don’t know exactly how Birmingham, Alabama ended up being reported as less friendly than Seattle, but this list is seriously out of whack!

I was born in Washington state… Seattle is extremely unfriendly!

Jon Ben February 2, 2020 - 2:59 am

I will echo this statement, I have lived in 12 states so far, Alabama was by far the most polite.

B.C. Hoffman January 27, 2020 - 2:04 am

With an immensely diverse country of nearly 350 million people, I don’t know why anyone believes a sample size from only 2,000 participants. Generalizing to this extreme and saying there’s a “2%” margin for error is how polling messed up the 2016 election so bad. Polls are out of touch with most Americans, unless those Americans are polled. Rude people are in every city btw, I wonder how many of those people polled voted their own city as #1?

Pat January 27, 2020 - 5:59 am

Baltimore has the rudest people and it’s not even close.

stogieguy7 January 27, 2020 - 9:46 am

There is no way in hell that Chicago is ruder than Boston. That’s not even close. In fact, no Midwestern city should even be on that list.

Christian February 1, 2020 - 1:12 pm

I remember reading a great highway sign, I believe on MileNerd:
“Welcome to New York
We don’t like you either”
I imagine the sign was probably a fake.

The problem with such a small sampling group is that it leads to inaccuracies that get worse the farther down the list you go. While this is unlikely to displace New York at the top with over a third of the votes, number 30 may have only had a few votes, making it awful close to number 50. I think a much larger sampling size would lead to more accurate overall results.

AlohaDaveKennedy January 3, 2021 - 8:13 am

Would be interesting to overlay the rudest states and cities with a map of their political majority. Wonder if there is any strong correlation with political affiliation?

adam montas March 19, 2021 - 10:17 pm

I agree with NYC being rude I lived there 25 years and I am 32 lived outside got treated nicer in Northern California/ Florida then I did in NYC.

derek August 9, 2022 - 7:17 pm

Mississippi is the worse. They are so rude that they lynch you but with a smile before they do so.

Angry Flier August 10, 2022 - 9:09 am

Chicago is NOT a rude city. In fact, for all of it’s well-known flaws, it’s known as being quite friendly. How it ended up ahead of the likes of Boston on this list proves (beyond a doubt) that any discussion of said list is a waste of our time because it’s phony BS.

dubaych August 10, 2022 - 9:32 pm

This seems to be based entirely on reputation rather than experience. Everyone who visits us in NYC, particularly southerners, is astounded by how accommodating and helpful the locals are. They’re in your business, yes, but they’re looking out for you. That was our first take when we moved here 30 years ago and it has never abated.


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