10 of the Rudest Cities in the U.S. According to Residents

Downtown Detroit

Preply, a language learning platform, recently surveyed over 1,500 residents of the 30 largest metropolitan areas in the U.S. and asked them about the rudeness level of their city. They did this to help travelers determine what to expect when visiting. In this article, we’ll discuss what Americans consider the rudest cities in the country and why. 

1. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Independence Hall in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania USA
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According to a survey conducted by a language learning website, Preply, Philadelphia is ranked 1st in the list of rudest cities. A resident of this city for 33 years shared his views of Philadelphia being the rudest. They said, “I can’t speak for the rest of the list, but Philadelphia at #1 is accurate.”

Preply explained why they believe Philadelphia scored so high, “Americans typically stereotype Philadelphians as rude, but locals tend to attribute their behavior to a feeling of insularity in the city. Reluctant to incorporate outsiders, many residents have learned to keep to themselves while growing up in a busy city.”

2. Memphis, Tennessee

MEMPHIS, TENNESSEE, USA - MARCH 22, 2019: Graceland in Memphis. The mansion was built in 1939 but later bought by Elvis Presley who lived here from 1957 – 1977.
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Apart from being famous as “Home of the Blues & Birthplace of Rock’ n’ Roll,” Memphis ranked 2nd on the rudest cities survey. The South may be known for its polite society and hospitality, but expect something other than this from Memphis. One resident said, “I spent 26 years in Memphis and can attest it’s number 2.” Another stated, “Born in Memphis and I can definitely agree.”

3. New York City, New York

New York, New York, USA skyline.
Photo credit: Sean Pavone / Shutterstock.com

Many New Yorkers were shocked that New York City was not number one on this list. According to Preply’s survey, the rudest behavior that New Yorkers exhibited was “Being absorbed by phone in public.”

One former resident disagreed, though: “I spent a good part of my life in NY. New Yorkers aren’t rude; they’re just in a hurry. Tourists who like to stop and gawk in the middle of the sidewalks and impede the flow of traffic are the ones who are rude.”

4. Las Vegas, Nevada

Las Vegas Nevada at night
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Las Vegas, commonly known as Sin City, is home to 42 million visitors annually. It is rather surprising to find it on the list of rudest cities. Locals who participated in the survey claimed that people who move to Vegas are more unkind than the locals. 

5. Boston, Massachusetts

Boston, Massachusetts, USA skyline with Faneuil Hall and Quincy Market at dusk.
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Boston is the capital of Massachusetts and serves as the cultural and financial center of the New England region. It landed so high on this list because “you’re likely to encounter cars not slowing down around pedestrians and residents not acknowledging strangers.” One resident voiced his agreement with this, “Spent most of my life in Boston – can vouch it’s rude. Definitely not a chance you’ll be let into a merge, and good luck making friends if you didn’t grow up with your neighbors. Saw so many people come over from the UK who were in a state of shock from the coldness – yep, even the Brits thought we were cold.”

6. Detroit, Michigan

Downtown Detroit
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Along with its historical association with the automobile industry, Detroit is well known for its contributions to art and design. Detroit landed at #6 on the list of rudest cities in the United States. Some Michigan residents wanted to clarify that the rudeness “is confined to Detroit.” And many Michigan residents are very polite and kind. 

7. San Francisco, California

Classic panoramic view of San Francisco skyline with famous Oakland Bay Bridge illuminated in beautiful golden evening light at sunset in summer, San Francisco Bay Area, California, USA
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San Francisco landed at #7 and, according to the Preply survey, was one of the top cities with ruder “locals.” This means residents born and raised in these cities have grown accustomed to certain behaviors, which likely originated from the city’s culture itself.   

8. Washington, D.C.

Washington Monument on the Reflecting Pool in Washington, DC, USA at dawn.
Editorial credit: Sean Pavone / Shutterstock.com

The capital city of the United States also found itself being named one of the top 10 rudest cities in the country. According to the survey, Washington D.C. is a city that is considered rude due to non-locals.

9. Los Angeles, California

Hollywood, Los Angeles, California
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Los Angeles, California, typically brings to mind images of Hollywood. It isn’t known for its especially welcoming atmosphere. This is another city that landed on this list due to “rude non-locals.” 

10. Houston, Texas

Houston, Texas, USA downtown city park and skyline.
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Houston is the most populous city in the state of Texas and in the Southern United States. Houston landed at #10 on this list due to being one of the top cities with “with ruder locals.” Some residents were very surprised by this ranking; one exclaimed, “Shocked to see my beloved Houston on the list!!”

Source: Preply

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Green Bay, Wisconsin. August 9th, 2018. Packer fans during at tailgate party at Lambeau Field. The man wears a cheesehead that says NFL Owner. The Packers are the only publicly owned NFL team.
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Savannah, Georgia, USA historic downtown sidewalks and rowhouses.
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Metropol Moscow Hotel on a winter morning (built in 1899-1907)
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Florida – St. Augustine
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Black Mountain, NC / USA - May 21, 2019: This is a color photo of 16 oz. size bottles of Hidden Valley Ranch dressing on the shelf at a local grocery store.
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