Americans have a lot of opinions on where they think their rudest residents hail from.
Stereotypes — or sports rivalries — often color these assumptions.
In October and November, Insider and SurveyMonkey conducted a survey of more than 2,000 American adults, asking them to choose the five rudest cities in the US from a list of the 50 biggest cities.
The rudest city in America, according to the survey, is New York City. It was rated rude by 34.3% of respondents, which was almost twice as much as the next highest city on the list.
As a Smithsonian essay pointed out, New Yorkers might not be rude, so much as overly familiar. With no space for privacy, what would be people’s private lives in the city of nearly 9 million are viscerally public.
Here are the 50 rudest cities in America, ranked from least to most rude.
SurveyMonkey Audience polls from a national sample balanced by census data of age and gender. Respondents are incentivized to complete surveys through charitable contributions. Generally speaking, digital polling tends to skew toward people with access to the internet. SurveyMonkey Audience doesn’t try to weight its sample based on race or income. The two polls for this survey had a total of 2,092 respondents with a margin of error of 2%: 1,075 respondents were collected 10/25/19 – 10/26/19, and 1,017 respondents were collected 11/22/19 – 11/23/19.
50. Raleigh, North Carolina
Percentage: 1.4% of respondents thought Raleigh had the rudest inhabitants.
In July, a local white woman was banned from Bonefish Grill after a video went viral showing her complaining about a group of black women and calling them a racial slur.
49. Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Percentage: 1.5% of respondents thought Milwaukee had the rudest inhabitants.
Earlier this year in Milwaukee, a burglar was called polite for removing his shoes, locking up, and closing the garage door, after stealing a car and thousands of dollars worth of electronics.
48. Providence, Rhode Island
Percentage: 1.5% of respondents thought Providence had the rudest inhabitants.
In November, at a Rhode Island State Committee meeting in Providence, former Rhode Island Sen. Stephen Alves drew ire for a comment he made about women.
After a heated confrontation, he was caught on video saying, “If a pig grunts, you don’t grunt back.”
In response, he said he made the comment after being filmed non-stop and asking the woman who was filming him to stop.
47. Salt Lake City, Utah
Percentage: 1.6% of respondents thought Salt Lake City had the rudest inhabitants.
In 2018, Salt Lake City got called out for its rudeness by actor Joseph Morales, during the touring production of “Hamilton.”
On Twitter, during the intermission, he posted, “SLC, you’re killing me. Put your phones away. We can see you. This isn’t a movie. What is up with you guys?”
One person responded and told Morales to “deal with it,” because the Utah Jazz, the local NBA team, were in the NBA playoffs.
46. Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minnesota
Percentage: 1.6% of respondents thought Minneapolis-St. Paul had the rudest inhabitants.
In 2017, local outlet City Pages reported that a Twin Cities street artist who went by the name “Sluto,” scrawled a rude message across the ground that residents were “all so f—ing boring.”
45. Richmond, Virginia
Percentage: 1.6% of respondents thought Richmond had the rudest inhabitants.
Since 1860, it’s been a crime to swear in public in Richmond, which could be a reason why the city is low on this list. If someone swears in public they face a $250 fine, according to the Washington Post.
In 2017, Delegate Michael Webert (R-Fauquier) wanted to change the law, because he thought it limited free speech.
“When I cursed, my mother told me not to and handed me a bar of soap. You shouldn’t get hit with a Class 4 misdemeanor,” he told the Post.
But he hasn’t been successful in changing the law.
44. Denver, Colorado
Percentage: 1.7% of respondents thought Denver had the rudest inhabitants.
According to an opinion piece by local resident Patrick Mims published by Westword in May, one of the biggest problems in Denver is that its “chill spots” and concerts are filled by “rude douchebags.” The “caliber” of people moving to the city was low, he said.
Other than that, he wrote, “The culture of Denver and Colorado, in general, is welcoming and carefree. We value a person’s right to independence. We were the first state to legalize recreational weed, but we also have some of the loosest gun laws in the country.”
43. Phoenix, Arizona
Percentage: 1.8% of respondents thought Phoenix had the rudest inhabitants.
In 2017, one Phoenix local got fed up with someone allowing a dog to poop on his lawn and then not picking it up, so he recorded a video of it and posted it online.
Another dog owner said she hoped the video embarrassed the person who was responsible.
42. Virginia Beach, Virginia
Percentage: 1.9% of respondents thought Virginia Beach had the rudest inhabitants.
In Virginia Beach, a lawyer was punished for being rude on multiple occasions in 2015.
John Crandley, the lawyer, referred to cases as “crap,” and what another lawyer said as “nonsense” and “baloney.” He was jailed twice for his sarcastic and rude courtroom behavior, and disciplined a third time.
41. Riverside, California
Percentage: 2.1% of respondents thought Riverside had the rudest inhabitants.
One small etiquette issue in Riverside is parking.
Riverside Councilman Mike Soubirous told The Press Enterprise he had received many complaints from residents whose street space was taken up by people who lived nearby in apartment blocks, which didn’t have any parking.
If it happened often, he suggested talking to neighbors and asking to keep the space clear. If that didn’t work, he said to park out front and block other people from parking there.
40. Orlando, Florida
Percentage: 2.2% of respondents thought Orlando had the rudest inhabitants.
In Orlando, a negative restaurant review led to a house being shot at three times.
In November, Monica Walley took to social media to complain that a restaurant denied service to her disabled mother on her birthday. Walley said the restaurant’s staff were “unnecessarily rude” and started a campaign against the restaurant.
The owner’s son, Michael Johnson, was dismayed at the damage the campaign was doing to the restaurant. The Orange County Sheriff’s Office said he drove over to the Walley’s house and shot at it three times. He was arrested 10 days later.
39. Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
Percentage: 2.3% of respondents thought Oklahoma City had the rudest inhabitants.
In Oklahoma City, the Fire Department’s handling of emergency calls was called rude, or at least curt, in January.
However, Fire Department Public Information Officer Benny Fulkerson, who was a dispatcher for 14 years, said the tone was necessary to get information as soon as possible.
“At first ear shot it could sound like a dispatcher was being rude or too curt. There are times that it’s not only acceptable but necessary and required to be curt because you have to move that 911 call along,” he said.
38. San Antonio, Texas
Percentage: 2.3% of respondents thought San Antonio had the rudest inhabitants.
Last year, a couple was annoyed when the people in front of them kept standing up whenever the Spurs, the local team, scored, the San Antonio Current reported. The people in front filmed the couple making racist and homophobic remarks, and the Facebook post went viral.
The couple later apologized. One of the men they harassed shared: “This is bigger then exposing them for what they did it’s about hoping that the generations to follow become equal.”
37. Louisville, Kentucky
Percentage: 2.3% of respondents thought Louisville had the rudest inhabitants.
In September, Louisville television reporter Sara Rivest was kissed on the cheek against her will while taping a live segment. She said it wasn’t okay, and police charged the man with harassment.
One little girl who knew the reporter told her the man had stolen her first kiss, which was “so rude!”
36. Memphis, Tennessee
Percentage: 2.4% of respondents thought Memphis had the rudest inhabitants.
In 2017, a nail salon in Memphis was criticized for hanging a sign that said if a person was overweight they’d have to pay $45 for a pedicure, which were usually up to $30. The increase was due to “service fees.”
When CBS visited the store, the owner denied the sign was from his business, although he had considered hanging one.
35. New Orleans, Louisiana
Percentage: 2.5% of respondents thought New Orleans had the rudest inhabitants.
Last year, State Rep. Neil Abramson took issue with “NCIS: New Orleans” filming in his neighborhood, saying the production crew yelled at a child, set up loud generators without notice, and banged into trees.
He called for rules to be changed around production planning, saying it was about “convenience and respect,” The Advocate reported.
34. Portland, Oregon
Percentage: 2.6% of respondents thought Portland had the rudest inhabitants.
Editor Robert Ham complained in an opinion piece for the Portland Mercury that the baristas and bartenders in the city are rude.
He wished for: “Some pleasantries. A reasonable amount of small talk. Or, at the very least, a facial expression that doesn’t look like you’d just as soon kneecap me as make me a goddamn latte.”
33. Nashville, Tennessee
Percentage: 2.7% of respondents thought Nashville had the rudest inhabitants.
In July, Fox17 reported that land developers were cold-texting home owners, asking if they’d be willing to sell their properties.
One resident named said she was getting five texts a day. Another woman had a developer ask if her father was interested in selling. She responded by saying he had died two years ago. “Thanks for the reminder,” she said.
32. Kansas City, Missouri
Percentage: 2.7% of respondents thought Kansas City had the rudest inhabitants.
Some locals in Kansas City were accused of being disrespectful in November after they silently entered the Paseo Baptist church and protested over the renaming of a road to honor Dr. Martin Luthor King earlier in the year.
The silent protesters wanted the name to be changed back, while those in the church wanted it to remain, according to the York Dispatch.
31. Columbus, Ohio
Percentage: 2.7% of respondents thought Columbus had the rudest inhabitants.
Last year, Columbus contractor Jeffrey Whitman called Charles Lovett, a local man, the N-word after the two got into a traffic disagreement on the road, ABC 6 reported.
Whitman followed Lovett home, and insulted him. Lovett recorded three minutes of it, and told him his behavior was unacceptable.
The video went viral, and Whitman issued a lengthy apology for his behavior and for using the word the next day.
30. St. Louis, Missouri
Percentage: 2.7% of respondents thought St. Louis had the rudest inhabitants.
Last year in St. Louis, retail chain Nordstrom’s management apologized to three teens who said they were racially profiled by employees at one of its stores. Nordstrom employees called the police on the trio, but cops found they’d done nothing wrong.
After the apology, one of the teens said, “I want them to teach them and make this a teaching moment and everybody move forward and get better.”
29. San Jose, California
Percentage: 2.9% of respondents thought San Jose had the rudest inhabitants.
In April, a gas station employee in San Jose rudely yelled at Grecya Moran, a woman who was with her 18-month-old son, for speaking Spanish to the other cashier.
After first apologizing, Moran then filmed the incident as the employee got more and more heated, swearing and cursing, and telling her, “This is America. You need to [speak] in English.”
She also told Moran she wasn’t an American citizen. Moran is an American citizen. The manager told ABC 7 the employee was fired after the incident.
28. Seattle, Washington
Percentage: 3.1% of respondents thought Seattle had the rudest inhabitants.
In April, after a video that showed Seattle city council members on their phones as an older man presented to them, they received vulgar emails condemning their behavior, Patch reported.
27. Indianapolis, Indiana
Percentage: 3.1% of respondents thought Indianapolis had the rudest inhabitants.
Earlier this year, a rude sign appeared in Indianapolis calling people out for littering in the area.
The sign said “we love litter,” which Fox59 reported some thought was offensive. Local Andrew Chambers said people should have cared more about trash than a rude sign, but they didn’t. “They do care more about the sign because the sign is sending an actual message to people and the trash can’t speak,” he said.
26. Hartford, Connecticut
Percentage: 3.2% of respondents thought Hartford had the rudest inhabitants.
In Hartford, ushers at Hartford Stage theater are polite but firm with patrons disrupting shows with their phones.
Patron services manager Margie Glick told the Hartford Courant, “I tell my ushers, be generous and inclusive. These people are in their own space.”
She said people were nice. “They do what they’re asked to do. I equate it to having to get dressed up, in the old days. You may not want to do it, but you understand.”
25. Charlotte, North Carolina
Percentage: 3.3% of respondents thought Charlotte had the rudest inhabitants.
Earlier this year, there were two separate receipt incidents in Charlotte Smoothie Kings.
Customer Calvin Caldwell said it was “very rude” to read a racist expletive word on his receipt, while customer Tony Choi was furious when he found “Jackie Chan,” on his receipt. Smoothie King fired the employees that were thought to be responsible, and said all of its staff would undergo sensitivity training.
24. Cincinnati, Ohio
Percentage: 3.5% of respondents thought Cincinnati had the rudest inhabitants.
In May, Cincinnati’s federal appeals court upheld a rude gesture can be protected by the right to free speech.
In 2017, Debra Cruise-Gulyas was pulled over by a police officer. She pulled the finger at him as she drove away. He pulled her over again and increased the fine. In court, Cruise-Gulyas argued pulling her over for a second time was a violation of her constitutional rights.
The court agreed. Judge Jeffrey S. Sutton wrote, “Fits of rudeness or lack of gratitude may violate the Golden Rule. But that doesn’t make them illegal or for that matter punishable or for that matter grounds for a seizure.”
23. Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Percentage: 3.5% of respondents thought Pittsburgh had the rudest inhabitants.
In Pittsburgh, it might be the visitors rather than the locals who are rude, according an article about TripAdvisor reviews by TribLive.
On the review website, the city’s landmarks were called a variety of things, including “boring,” and “ugly,” while its inhabitants were called “miserable people.”
22. San Diego, California
Percentage: 3.5% of respondents thought San Diego had the rudest inhabitants.
One local resident Stuart Cardwell found San Diego so rude, he wrote an opinion piece in 2016 for the San Diego Reader, titled “Y’All are rude.”
Cardwell wrote that a local college professor told him rudeness in the city could be blamed on a variety of things, like the gold rush, the Dust Bowl migration, and idea of manifesting one’s destiny.
“All you had to do was get here, stake a claim, and then protect your plot from anything that would wrench it out of the hands of the very one who made it valuable. This social construct is fertile soil for cultivating a passive-aggressive distrust of neighbors and new faces alike,” he wrote.
21. Sacramento, California
Percentage: 3.8% of respondents thought Sacramento had the rudest inhabitants.
In December, The Sacramento Bee published an opinion piece by Marcos Breton, which outlined how someone could tell if they’re from Sacramento, and it wasn’t because they were polite.
He wrote one sure sign is “when everything – food, bike lanes, public art – is political.” Locals are also known “to rat out our neighbors for watering their sidewalks in a drought.”
20. Tampa, Florida
Percentage: 4% of respondents thought Tampa had the rudest inhabitants.
In September, Tampa resident Jenn Bethune called out other people for being rude. While visiting Disney World with her service dog, she heard people questioning whether the dog was necessary, since she “looked fine.”
In a post she wrote about the incident, which was shared over 100,000 times, she reminded readers that not all disabilities are visible.
The reason she had the dog was because she suffered from post traumatic stress disorder after her six-year-old son died in a car accident.
19. Cleveland, Ohio
Percentage: 5% of respondents thought Cleveland had the rudest inhabitants.
In Cleveland, a man was wrongly accused of rude behavior by the Cleveland Browns, which led to a defamation lawsuit in October, WKYC Studios reported.
Eric Smith was banned from FirstEnergy Staum for throwing beer on a basketball player. The only problem was he wasn’t at the stadium during the game. He had been DJing at a wedding.
Smith alleged he was called a liar when he tried to explain it wasn’t him.
The Browns communications team later admitted they hadn’t done “enough homework,” but Smith said that wasn’t a proper acknowledgement and called for a public apology and financial damages.
18. Houston, Texas
Percentage: 5.3% of respondents thought Houston had the rudest inhabitants.
Residents of a manicured Houston neighborhood erected signs banning photo shoots in 2017. The signs said: “Welcome to Broadacres; NO photo shoots.”
Cece Fowler, who was president of the Broadacres Homeowners Association, said they were posted after the area was inundated with up to 50 photo shoots a week — for weddings, quinceañera celebrations, and graduation photos. She said some photoshoots brought props like bookcases, or couches, and others had vehicles tear up the grass.
Jill Brown, who lived nearby, didn’t agree with the ban, and told the Houston Chronicle. “You think about diversity in the city, and there it is. It’s all races, and you have people dressed up for quinceañeras and weddings and Indian dress, and it’s joyous.”
17. Jacksonville, Florida
Percentage: 6.2% of respondents thought Jacksonville had the rudest inhabitants.
In Jacksonville, one non-profit called The American Civility Association has been working with school children to stop bullying and violence for the last five years, Jacksonville.com reported.
Its mission is to promote kindness and civility, and its founder, Amy Barnett, hopes to make a difference.
“We don’t get up in the morning thinking who can we be rude to. People for the most part want to be kind. I’ve seen that over and over again,” she said.
16. Austin, Texas
Percentage: 6.6% of respondents thought Austin had the rudest inhabitants.
Last year, an Austin-based company released a three minute video using footage from dashboard cameras to show rude, dangerous driving in the city.
The video showed a montage of reckless driving, including cars turning into traffic, cutting off other vehicles, driving through busy intersections, and even a head-on crash.
15. Miami, Florida
Percentage: 6.8% of respondents thought Miami had the rudest inhabitants.
An opinion piece in the Miami Herald declared the city has the world’s rudest audiences for plays, films, or concerts. Columnist Linda Robertson wrote that punctuality in the coastal city is optional, and movie theaters are like sports bars.
She wrote the reason that people are always late for shows was because of the “Miami Time rationale”: “Everybody is late and nothing starts on time. It’s humid and we move at a languid pace here.”
14. Dallas, Texas
Percentage: 6.9% of respondents thought Dallas had the rudest inhabitants.
At least one person is fighting rude behavior in Dallas, and he’s seven years old.
The young rapper named Michael Smith, who goes by “Lil’ Money Mike,” is fighting bullying and rudeness through song, CBS-DFW reported.
In September, he released “Bully Proof,” on YouTube. He hoped it would help people to “stop talking mean to people, and stop saying rude things to people.”
As of December 20, the video had more than 18,000 views.
13. Las Vegas, Nevada
Percentage: 7.8% of respondents thought Las Vegas had the rudest inhabitants.
One fan was so rude in Las Vegas in March 2018, it prompted Elton John to walk offstage. According to a statement John released, the fan was putting his hands on the piano as he tried to play even after he asked him to stop, and then tried to take photos, interrupting his performance.
“This guy was rude, disruptive and had no care or respect for our show and so I let him know how I felt, then left the stage until they had removed him,” John said.
12. Atlanta, Georgia
Percentage: 9.1% of respondents thought Atlanta had the rudest inhabitants.
A rude exchange in an Atlanta grocery store garnered national attention in July 2019.
State Rep. Erica Thomas was checking out in the express lane, when a man named Erik Sparkes told she shouldn’t have been, because she had too many items.
Things escalated from there, although their accounts of what was said are different. Thomas said he told her to “go back” to where she came from. She posted a viral video about the incident on Twitter, where she said she was verbally abused by a white man.
Sparkes denied he told her to go back anywhere, but he did admit to swearing at her and calling her lazy. No charges were filed.
11. Birmingham, Alabama
Percentage: 9.4% of respondents thought Birmingham had the rudest inhabitants.
In 2015, the behavior of several teenagers at a Birmingham cinema garnered national attention when their mother reached out on Facebook to apologize.
Kyesha Wood was horrified when she learned her children had been obnoxious during a film and when a woman asked them to be quiet, they ignored the plea, the local ABC affiliate reported. Afterwards, the woman told them it was the last film her family would be seeing for a while because her husband had been laid off.
Wood posted her apology on Facebook and after it was shared around, Rebecca Boyd responded, and said on Facebook that Wood’s note brought her to tears and showed her there were still good people in the world.
10. San Francisco, California
Percentage: 9.8% of respondents thought San Francisco had the rudest inhabitants.
According to an opinion piece in the San Francisco Chronicle, cyclists in the Sausalito area are one rude demographic in the city.
“At breakneck speeds, they careen down Alexander Avenue and enter the Hurricane Gulch neighborhood like an invading army,” Mike Kirner wrote.
He said cyclists hurl obscenities at tourists who drive slowly, they cycle faster than the speed limit, and they endanger children, coffee drinkers, and dogs.
9. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Percentage: 9.9% of respondents thought Philadelphia had the rudest inhabitants.
One thing Philadelphia is known for is its intense Eagles fans. Over the years they’ve done some arguably rude things, which Philadelphia Magazine compiled in 2018.
These included throwing snowballs at a stand-in Santa in 1968, 60 separate fistfights at a single game in 1997, crowds cheering over a career-ending neck injury to Cowboys wide receiver Michael Irvin in 1999, and, most recently, a drunk fan punching a police horse in 2018.
8. Baltimore, Maryland
Percentage: 11.2% of respondents thought Baltimore had the rudest inhabitants.
Baltimore had one rude local trying to prank strangers for several months at the start of 2019.
The 20-year-old man was trying to be a comedian, “roasting” people. He pointed a camera at strangers’ faces and made comments about them, often about their race or the way they looked, according to BBC.
He said his goal was “to get reactions out of people.” He was arrested in February, and charged with five counts of harassment and 16 counts of trespassing.
7. Buffalo, New York
Percentage: 11.3% of respondents thought Buffalo had the rudest inhabitants.
The Buffalo News published an opinion piece condemning the rude reception conservative and anti-Muslim speaker Robert Spencer got on the University of Buffalo campus in 2017.
The News Editorial Board argued that it was rude to drown him out as he tried to talk. He was also told to shut up and called a Nazi.
6. Detroit, Michigan
Percentage: 11.6% of respondents thought Detroit had the rudest inhabitants.
A McDonalds’ employee in Detroit was almost Tasered over an incident in June.
A woman in a wheelchair ordered a meal, then fired her Taser at an employee, because she said her order was taking too long and alleged that staff were being rude.
But the staff member, who was not injured, said she had been polite. The police confiscated the woman’s Taser.
5. Boston, Massachusetts
Percentage: 14.9% of respondents thought Boston had the rudest inhabitants.
Boston’s reputation for being rude might have something to do with its line-cutters, according to one local.
In a Boston Herald column by Grace Curley, published earlier this year, she wrote that many locals are perpetrators of the “chat and cut.” This is when someone pretends to be familiar with someone else who is already in line for the singular purpose of cutting into that line.
But Curley said things had deteriorated and people were now doing it in groups. The columnist asked, “Is there no honor among yuppies?”
4. Chicago, Illinois
Percentage: 18.6% of respondents thought Chicago had the rudest inhabitants.
According to the hometown newspaper, Chicago has been a rude city for decades. A 1985 Chicago Tribune editorial said rudeness was “chronic, thoughtless, and utterly pervasive.”
Chicago was also home to Ed Debevic’s Diner for 31 years, which was known for its “rude” staff whose attitudes were part of the experience. In 2015, a video of one of the waitresses being snarky to diners went viral.
“If you want good service, you go somewhere else. I know Hooters is probably more your speed, but you came here on purpose,” waitress Kryssie Ridolfi said to diners on the video.
The rude diner closed down in late 2015, but it plans to make a comeback.
3. Washington, D.C.
Percentage: 18.9% of respondents thought Washington had the rudest inhabitants.
In America’s capital, politics can often lead to rude outbursts on the floors of Congress, and sometimes spills over into social life, too.
In 2018, members of the Trump administration were heckled in Washington various D.C.-area restaurants. Protesters yelled at former Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen, called White House adviser Stephen Miller a fascist, and former White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders was asked to leave a rural Virginia restaurant.
2. Los Angeles, California
Percentage: 19.7% of respondents thought Los Angeles had the rudest inhabitants.
Parents of students attending Paradise Canyon Elementary School were so rude that PTA members wouldn’t work a car line, and crossing guards quit, the Los Angeles Times reported in November.
Principal Carrie Hetzel told the newspaper: “We can’t even keep crossing guards at our school anymore. They quit because parents are so rude and yell at them every day.”
Local Richard Hing suggested one solution was to reeducate parents on their behavior.
1. New York, New York
Percentage: 34.3% of respondents thought New York had the rudest inhabitants.
New York is rated the rudest city by a large majority. But it’s nothing new. Manhattan borough historian Michael Miscione told The New York Times in 2011 that New Yorkers have been considered rude since the 1700s.
He provided the newspaper with one quote about the city from former President John Adams, who said in 1774, “I have not seen one real gentleman, one well-bred man, since I came to town. At their entertainments there is no conversation that is agreeable; there is no modesty, no attention to one another.”
“They talk very loud, very fast and altogether. If they ask you a question, before you can utter three words of your answer they will break out upon you again and talk away.”
But, like all of the cities on this list, the rudeness of any one place is based mostly on perception.
Per: Business Insider
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