Cities Journal

20 Dumbest Cities In America


The world is getting more and more educated each year, with a rise in adults with tertiary (college-level) education going from 20% to 33% in the span between years 2000 and 2012, when we are talking about the developed countries.

On an international level, the United States of America still holds up quite well, being the fifth, right after the Russian Federation, Canada, Japan and Israel.

Unfortunately, there are parts of the country where higher education is at a much lower level and where the percentages of people with bachelor’s degrees and even high school diplomas are much lower.

We will be looking at the 20 cities with the lowest percentage of people with bachelor’s and high school diplomas in the US. These will all be census-designated places with more than 50,000 people according to the latest national census.

As you will see, a shockingly large number of these are in California, mostly in the Los Angeles metropolitan area. What you want to take from this list and how you feel about these cities and the dramatically low percentage of people with high school and BA education degrees is something for you decide.

#20 – Union City, New Jersey

Union City, New Jersey is the first city on our list, or the last, depending on how you look at it. It is located in the Hudson County and with the population of around 66,000 in the area of only 1.283 sq. miles; it is the most densely populated city in the US. The city was incorporated in 1925, when the merger of West Hoboken Township and Union Hill occurred.

The city has seen two waves of immigrants that have greatly shaped the look and the feel of the city. The first of these was the influx of German speakers and the second one the influx of Spanish speakers. This can be seen in the two nicknames for the city – Havana on the Hudson and Embroidery Capital of the United States. The city is home to the longest-running passion play in the United States which happens every Cuban Day Parade.

Historically, Union City has been family-oriented with brownstones dominating the landscape. In the early 2000s, the city attempted to attract developers and this lead to construction of larger residences. This continued for a number of years and reached its peak in 2008, when the first high-rise condominium was completed and named the Thread.

Union City is struggling economically, with 18.1% of the population below the poverty line, which has had its impact on the education as well. Of the people living in Union City, only 54.4% have graduated high school and 12.5% have bachelor’s degrees.

Steps are being made to revitalize the education facilities and culture in the city.

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