Looking for a friendly place to live? Maybe steer clear of these notoriously ill-mannered cities.

By Maggie Seaver
January 03, 2020

Big, bustling cities aren’t exactly known for their calm, well-mannered citizens. Urban-dwellers are typically exhausted, constantly on the move, and essentially living on top of their neighbors. They’ve got places to go and people to see, and there’s little time for a kind exchange with the cashier, opening doors for strangers, or giving up a precious seat on the bus. But which U.S. cities have the worst reputation for rudeness? 

A survey by Insider and SurveyMonkey went to the source to find out. The survey asked nearly 2,100 Americans to rank what they believed were the five rudest U.S. cities from a list of the nation’s 50 largest cities. And if you put all your money on New York City topping the charts as the number-one rudest city in America, you’d be very rich right now. On the other hand, Raleigh, N.C., came in at number 50 on the list, speaking to its reputation for civility, with only 1.4 percent of survey participants declaring North Carolina’s capital the rudest.

No news here: NYC—the Big Apple, the City that Never Sleeps—isn’t for the faint of heart. The island city definitely has its bright spots (why else would 8.6 million people choose to live there?), but good manners apparently isn’t one of them. New York, N.Y., was named the rudest city by a landslide 34 percent of survey-takers. Whether they’ve lived there, visited, kept up with NYC news, or simply heard tales of its particularly ornery inhabitants, Americans are pretty set in their perception of this Northeastern metropolis. 

Coming in just behind New York City, according to this survey, are Los Angeles, Washington D.C., Chicago, and Boston. There’s just something about buzzing, populous cities, notably all coastal cities (even Chicago, which abuts Lake Michigan) that breeds more rude behavior than other locations. What else can we expect from millions of people forced to live, work, eat, and commute in such close quarters?

And does this mean everyone who lives in these five cities is totally uncivil? Of course not. But you’re likely to encounter more questionable manners here than in, say, Raleigh, North Carolina, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, or Providence, R.I.—at least based on this particular opinion report from Insider. And here's an idea: Anyone really looking to avoid gruff, disgruntled neighbors might want to check out Hawaii—recently voted the happiest state in the U.S., according to WalletHub. Just a thought.

Here’s an official rudeness ranking of 50 American cities, starting with the worst offender.

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.

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