A study recently revealed the top fifty rudest cities in the USA. By this, they mean the least polite. The place where no one is likely to give you their seat on a bus or hold the door open for you or spend time indulging in small talk. It will come as no surprise to you that New York is in number one spot. You can see the list below.

But is it true? Really?

There are several things that concern me about this ‘fact’.

  • They asked 2010 Americans to rank the cities. That’s not a very large sample to me
  • Has every single one of those people been to all the fifty cities on that survey? For example, I couldn’ rate Memphis because I’ve never been there. So are the results just gathered from people have ‘been there’?
  • If every single person hadn’t visited them all, then the chances are the New York was the place that most of them had visited, skewing the results
  • New York has a population of over 8 million. There are over 6 million tourists who visit the city annually. How would the survey respondents know if any rudeness they encountered was from a native or a visitor?
  • In addition to the tourists, there are unknown numbers of people who visit New York for the day – they are not included in the tourist count
  • Also not included are the workers who live miles away but who commute to the city
  • Remember that anyone who has visited New York during a weekday is likely to have come across more tourists and visitors than New Yorkers – they are at work
  • New York being a place full of rude people is one of those things that people assume are correct – like the so-called fact that it’s always raining in London (actually Miami has a greater rainfall) or that Paris is unsafe for visitors
  • How were the questions asked? If most of us were asked ‘Do you think New Yorkers are impolite?’ the chances are we’d say yes

It’s also funny (to me anyway) when there are four cities in Florida that are in the top fifty rudest places (but not where I live happily) yet in a more scholarly and professional survey, Florida was the 28th happiest state in the USA.

I have a theory that the media has often portrayed New Yorkers as rude and that that’s a myth that has been exaggerated.

A great example is the 1969 cult classic film, Midnight Cowboy. It was the story of a small-town boy (well, young man) going to New York and yes, everyone was pretty rude and uncaring.

But New Yorkers insist that they are lovely and friendly people who are always happy to help visitors with directions or recommendations.  So if you’re travelling to New York, don’t worry!


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.

New York

New York




JJ is originally from the UK and has lived in South Florida since 1994. She is the founder and editor of JAQUO Magazine. You can connect with her using the social media icons below.

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