Rudest City in America Revealed, and It’s Located in Pennsylvania

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Written By Blue & Gold NLR Team





A recent study surveyed 1,500 residents of the 30 largest U.S. metropolitan areas to determine which cities are seen as the rudest and most polite. Conducted by Preply, a language learning platform, the survey aimed to provide insights for travelers on what to expect in different cities regarding rudeness levels and behaviors.

Key Findings

  • The rudest U.S. cities, according to residents, include Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Memphis, Tennessee, and New York City, New York.
  • The most polite U.S. cities, according to residents, include Austin, TX, San Diego, CA, and Fort Worth, TX.
  • Common rude behaviors in the U.S. include people being absorbed by their phones, refusing to let people merge in traffic, and being noisy in shared spaces.
  • Locals tend to be viewed as ruder than non-locals in many cities.

The Rudest U.S. Cities

Residents rated the average rudeness of their city’s residents on a scale of one to ten. Philadelphia, Memphis, and New York City were rated the top three rudest cities, scoring 6.43, 6.05, and 6.00, respectively. This may be attributed to the fast-paced, insular nature of these cities.

The Most Polite U.S. Cities

Cities like Austin and San Diego scored low on rudeness, indicating a culture of general politeness. These cities are known for their friendly atmospheres and Southern hospitality.

Common Rude Behaviors

Problematic driving and disrespect for shared spaces were identified as common rude behaviors. New York City residents were noted for being absorbed by their phones, while Memphis residents were cited for difficulties in merging traffic and being noisy in public.

Rudeness Among Locals vs. Non-Locals

Overall, 55% of respondents ranked non-locals as ruder than locals. Cities with ruder locals included Philadelphia, Boston, and New York City, while cities with ruder non-locals included Charlotte, Nashville, and Phoenix.

Rudeness When Traveling Abroad

76% of respondents agreed that Americans tend to act rudely when traveling abroad, even unintentionally. Common rude behaviors abroad include tipping, using certain hand gestures, and altering or not finishing a meal.


Cultural differences play a significant role in perceptions of rudeness. Educating oneself on the norms and behaviors of different cultures can help avoid misunderstandings. Language learning can also contribute to cultural understanding and respectful communication.


The study surveyed 1,577 American residents of the 30 largest cities from June 15 to 20, 2022. Respondents were asked to rate the rudeness of the average resident of their city on a scale of one to ten. Cities with scores above average were deemed the most polite, while those below average were considered the rudest.

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