The Getaway
Mind Your Ps and Qs in the Rudest American States

The United States is diverse, made up of various cultures, norms, and even driving standards. Traveling outside of your own hometown can be a culture shock, making you question the intentions of locals. Visiting some areas may even leave you feeling less than welcome.

The sights, foods, and way of living can be incompatible with what you're used to in other states. These differences can come off as rude. Numerous studies have attempted to identify the rudest states in the United States using things like driving records, customer service phone records, and self-reports.


01 Nevada

Las Vegas at night Gerald Lord / Getty Images

Nevada, one of the biggest party capitals of the world, has a reputation for its discourteous residents. Perhaps it's due to the never-ending party on Las Vegas Boulevard, or maybe it's because much of the state is literally a desert, but Nevada ranks as one of the rudest states in the country.

Tourists are constantly drinking, the heat can easily exceed 100 degrees, and much of the economy is built on the population of bars and casinos. Sometimes, Nevadans just want to sit back and relax, and with tourists taking advantage of the Las Vegas lifestyle, that's not always possible.


02 Michigan

Cloudy winter day just outside Downtown Detroit. Photo by Steve Swartz / Getty Images

Michigan, the home of the Motor City and the Coney Dog has its fair share of rude residents. This is likely because the major freeways are always under some type of ongoing construction, and the winters can get pretty cold.

Of course, there's the University of Michigan and Michigan State duel that leaves half the state pinned against the other half. Don't even bring up football because if a Michigander finds out that you're from Ohio or support the Buckeyes, you'll be shunned for good.


03 Rhode Island

Photo by Liubov Ilchuk on Unsplash

Driving the east coast, you could easily miss the state of Rhode Island. However, if you were to stop and grab a coffee or enjoy a bite to eat, you might experience their self-proclaimed rudeness. A recent study named Rhode Island the rudest city in the country. Another study asked residents to measure how crude they considered their own state, and 42% of Rhode Islanders reported they thought their home state was rude.

Common reasons for this rating included a high rate of road rage incidents, mediocre tippers, and rude customers.


04 Maryland

Annapolis, Maryland, USA downtown cityscape on Main Street. SeanPavonePhoto / Getty Images

Unless you're from Maryland, you may not even be able to pinpoint it on a map. If you do find your way there, you're likely to find that the residents aren't always welcoming. When they're not spending their weekends dining on crab in Ocean City, they're fighting poorly maintained roads with way too much traffic.

Maryland ranks first for the longest commute times, with an average one-way commute of 32.5 minutes. This means that Marylanders spend a significant portion of their week driving, which could be because the cost of living in Maryland is higher-than-average, making people drive even further.


05 Illinois

People Against City Buildings At Dusk Kweku Bentum / EyeEm / Getty Images

Home to Chicago, one of the busiest cities in the country following New York City, is also home to its fair share of rude residents. Illinois has a long-standing disagreement between Cubs and White Socks fans, a debate that easily divides the state. The state is also known for its versatile weather, meaning residents have to do double the laundry to keep up with the unpredictable changes.

Much of Illinois' rudeness may also come from a misinterpretation of their thorough love for the state. Illinois residents tend to be loyal, and if you have anything bad to say about their state, their response may come off as less than polite.


06 New Jersey

A women sits atop a life guard stand on the beach in Ocean City, New Jersey. Jonathan Novack / Getty Images

New Jersians are so adept at rudeness that they have even coined their own phrase to describe it: Jersey attitude. The people of New Jersey tend to be bold, honest, and straight-to-the-point, which may seem like rudeness to some. Of course, New Jersians have plenty of reasons to be mad.

They often have long commutes, especially if they travel into nearby New York City. They have to share their beaches with an influx of tourists in the summer months, and they're tired of telling people that the shows Jersey Shore and The Sopranos don't accurately reflect everyone's life.


07 Idaho

Mountain biker enjoys one of the many trails just above downtown. christiannafzger / Getty Images

Most people don't even know anyone who has visited Idaho, making it hard to believe that they made it on the list of rudest states. However, according to a study by Insurify, Idaho ranks second on the list of rude drivers. This translates to having five times the national average of rude drivers. When you consider the rural roads that make up much of the state, this means that your chance of coming across a cranky driver is likely.

On the plus side, as long as you stay off the roads, Idahoans can be friendly and welcoming.


08 New York

Times Square when 6 ft social distancing was a myth. Captured this while enjoying an open air bus ride in this magnificent and lively place. It is one of the world's busiest pedestrian intersections, and a major center of the world's entertainment industry. Rohit Kamboj / Getty Images

New York has made it on many rudest states lists, often finding itself placed in the number one spot. You could say that the standoffish attitude of New Yorkers is due to the high influx of tourists, the high cost of goods, or the never-ending traffic with drivers who blare their horns all throughout the night.

New York is also fast-paced, which some may confuse as rudeness. People don't have time for small talk and would rather get back to their over-priced 200-square-foot apartment.


09 Ohio

View from above of people moving through and dining at East 4th Street, downtown Cleveland, Ohio, USA. East 4th is a vibrant neighborhood packed with bars, restaurants, entertainment, shops and residential apartments in heart of city. It is often filled with people moving through street, and lined with patios where people eat outside. Barry Winiker / Getty Images

Ohio residents can be pleasant and welcoming, as long as you're a football fan and you only root for the Buckeyes. Beyond that, the state has one of the highest rates of traffic violations, which includes failing to yield, failing to stop, tailgating, and street racing.

Ohioans are also more likely to express their frustration with a series of curse words. A study found that people from Ohio curse more than people from any other state in the country. The longer an Ohioan is placed on hold on a phone call, the more it correlates to an increase in cursing frequency.


10 Washington State

People At Gas Works Park By Lake Union Against Blue Sky Trevor Lee / EyeEm / Getty Images

Washington State has made its way onto a few rude lists. Residents have been described as standoffish and distant. For one, it always seems to be raining in Washington, which can affect anyone's mood. Perhaps people are avoiding small talk, or maybe they're just trying to rush to their destination to get out of the rain.

People of Washington may also be tired of having to explain to visitors that they're from Washington State and not Washington D.C.


11 Virginia

Virginia Beach, crowd of people, elevated view Andy Ryan / Getty Images

Virginia is one of the original 13 states, and some would attribute its rude reputation to a population that is stuck in its ways. The state doesn't get a lot of tourists, so residents may be more skeptical when new people come out of nowhere.

It's also important to consider driving ratings, and Virginia is considered to have the third-worst drivers in the country. A QuoteWizard study reported that Virginia drivers weren't really bad drivers in a specific category — they're bad drivers across all categories. Don't forget the fact that people are always confusing Virginia with its neighbor, West Virginia.


12 Utah

Famous hike in the Narrows, Virgin river, Zion Canyon National Park, Utah, USA (MR) Matteo Colombo / Getty Images

Utah may be known for its exceptional skiing and film festivals. However, many people report Utah residents to be judgmental and less than welcoming. Many of Utah's residents were born and raised in the state and follow a traditional southern way of life. Talking back to your parents or having strong opinions on the local religion can lead to an uninviting feeling.


13 Connecticut

Beautiful shot with a blue hue of people brining in canoes and paddle boards during a calm summer day. Theory Images / Getty Images

Connecticut, the Constitution State, has developed a reputation over the years as being rich. Being the fourth wealthiest state in the country, people who retire with a large personal wealth often head to Connecticut. The small state is made up of many small towns, meaning everyone aims to know everything about their neighbors.

The residents may come off as rude for a few reasons. For one, tourists flock to the coast during the busy season, which can make it more difficult for locals to grab their favorite coffee or get a table at their preferred restaurant. And don't forget, if you're not a UConn fan, don't even think of talking sports when you visit.


14 California

Venice Beach, CA at sunset Matt Henry Gunther / Getty Images


You might be surprised to find California here, but while the state has some of the friendliest and most laid-back cities, they also have some of the rudest people in America. California is home to one of the largest populations in the world, so you're likely to run into a mean person or two.

Navigating the California highways takes practice and prayer; when you're not experienced with them, other drivers can be less than pleasant. You'll also find that many Californians are focused on building their careers and simply don't have time for useless small talk.


15 Alaska

Grizzly bear, ursus arctos horriblis, in its natural habitat. Grizzly bear clamming on the shore. Clams are an important part of grizzly diet. pchoui / Getty Images


Alaska takes a lot of getting used to, whether you're talking about the frigid cold temperatures or the one-of-a-kind people that make up the state. Let's be honest, though: if you had to endure six months of darkness, you might feel a little unhappy, too.

Alaskans also often feel like they're part of their own country, as the state is located so far from the rest of the U.S. Even traveling from one destination to another within Alaska can take hours. The nontraditional way of life can come off as rude to some people.


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