Pop culture, entertainment & all things Fresno

Fresno: The dumbest city in America?


Well, Fresno, I’m not sure what kind of silver lining we’re going to put on this one. I’ll just give you the bad news straight up.

The Daily Beast measured the intelligence of America’s 55 largest cities … and Fresno finished dead last.

The study looked at factors such as how many college graduates we have, how our educational institutions measure up and how many non-fiction books we read.

You can read all about the process on their site. Of Fresno, they wrote:

The race to the bottom wasn’t even close. The largest city in California’s San Joaquin breadbasket, Fresno had deficiencies across-the-board. College education (less that 20 percent of the local population have four-year degrees), graduate studies, academic institutions (not much besides Fresno State), book purchases, voter engagement — it ranked in the worst five percent in almost all of our categories. Problems with gangs and crystal meth tend to deter the best and brightest.

Fresno got an IQ score of 3. Raleigh-Durham, which finished first, had an IQ score of 170.

The top 10: SF/Oakland/SJ, Boston, Minneapolis-St. Paul, Denver, Hartford-New Haven, Seattle-Tacoma, D.C., Portland and Baltimore. See the rest here.

What do you think: Are we really that dumb? Or is this just another rank-all-the-cities study that doesn’t mean anything?

Responses to "Fresno: The dumbest city in America?"

brodiemash says:

Oh, man… this is gonna be good.

Heather says:

“less that 20 percent of the local population have four-year degrees”

Less THAN, maybe? Edit yo sh*t, Daily Beast, before you call us dumb.

Mike Oz says:

Burn! I consider this a victory for all of the Fresno metro area. Well done, Heather.

Heather says:

Courtesy of my four-year degree from California State University, Fresno.

stevecrozz says:

I used to think I was pretty smart, but now I know its just because I live in Fresno :(

hahaha!!!! Heather is teh smottest 1 in teh ‘No, yo.

Travis says:

The DumbDrum should capitalize on this award…

Well at least the didn’t mention the Fresno City College students who can’t dodge trains.

Kim Burly says:

Okay Fresno, get your asses over to Barnes and Noble and start buying up nonfiction books! (They didn’t say anything about reading them… I have a LOT of nonfiction I haven’t read but I’ve read Twilight 4 times. They’ll never know!)

We’re gonna beat this one next time!

Barbara says:

I believe it.

Heather says:

Yeah, the nonfiction book-reading is an interesting criteria. Am I to understand that reading books written by Ann Coulter or Rush Limbaugh or Sarah Palin proves a higher intelligence than reading Homer, Jane Austen or William Faulkner?

Andy Hansen-Smith says:

It should have been titled “Least Educated” rather than the loaded word “Dumbest”. Just because you have gone to college doesn’t make you smart. The country would not have had the Enron crisis without the “Smartest Guys in the Room” and our current economic crisis was caused by the greed of Wall Street MBA graduates.
Fresno State’s students are about to hit 1 million hours of volunteer service for the area just this year. Maybe if the Wall St. employees were doing that we wouldn’t be in such a big mess…

Kim Burly says:

Duh, Heather.

Heather says:

Gross. I’ll just stick to fiction and wear the title of “Dumbass” proudly.

TheLoneIguana says:

Is there a “bat-guano insane” book section at Barnes and Noble? Ann Coulter, Rush Limbaugh and Sarah Palin would all certainly qualify. Assuming there’s any shelf space left after all the Glenn Beck books are displayed there.

wet towel says:


…If Fresno said something like this about itself?
(based on the myriad of facts and true stories that happen all the time?, (many heralded here?)
-It’d be ‘great, GO DAWGS…!)

Somebody else says it?

‘…just another case of somebody pissin’ unjustly on an cliche’d target…’


Truth hurts, folks.

Either nut up and do something about it.


Go commiserate over drinks…

AttyKendall says:

The non-fiction books you mentioned are probably the ones Fresnans ARE reading. And I’m not sure we would be very high on the list taking into account sales of “The Illiad” either. Although if you were referring to the works of Homer Simpson, maybe we would have been ranked higher.

james says:

Sure, if you measure things like *test scores* and *academic performance* we don’t place very high. But what does *that* measure? Huh?

On a serious note, to simply look at a direct comparison between cities would be…well, dumb. Fresno has a large immigrant population; a significant number of our residents don’t speak English. We’re also ag-based, and most farm work has not historically required a formal education (not to say it wouldn’t benefit).

Certainly, this factors into things like a movement to attract creative professionals, but (said as someone with a master’s degree) this is a reflection of who we are, and shouldn’t immediately be interpreted as negative.

Mike Oz says:

To be fair, Andy, the whole “dumbest” thing was all me. It’s a bit on conjecture, yes. “Least educated” is probably what they would nicely say to us.

When they’re ranking the top 55 smartest cities and we’re last, I don’t think “dumb” is that big of a leap. But I could just be dumb.

Heather says:

Let’s be fair: Fresno alone isn’t putting these fools on the bestseller lists.

Heather says:

1 million hours? That’s awesome.

Mike Oz says:

Spot on, James.

And beyond that, I think all of these types of rank-the-cities surveys are pretty much BS anyway. Most of them just pick a few factors, crunch some numbers then trot out a list of the most miserable cities or happiest cities, or fattest cities, or heathiest cities, or cities with the worst hair … I think all of those are real ones that we’ve ended up on, btw.

Point is: Statistics are just numbers. Maybe they’re accurate. Maybe they’re not. Maybe they reflect you. Maybe they don’t.

But I don’t give any of these types of surveys — whether they make us look good or bad — much validity.

You’ve got to take it for what it is. This ranking appears to be accurate in the context of the Daily Beast’s methodology. The conclusion is arbitrary, but I think it does reflect some truth about this town.

All I’m saying is that it wouldn’t kill us to go read a non-fiction book (non-English language books count too).

wet towel says:


‘…large immigrant population, significant number don’t speak English…’

-that’s odd, most of the ‘immigrant population’ I know don’t speak SPANISH, –yet they’re doing pretty good with English
-for fun, pick up the local paper or go down Blackstone and catch the signs for stores that have blatant misspellings.

‘…We’re also ag-based, and most farm work has not historically required a formal education (not to say it wouldn’t benefit)…’

-DUDE!, they just threw out a college fraternity that focuses on Resources Management OUT of a football game because they were ‘too political’ by having a sign that had the Presidents name on it, (oooooooh)
-and were trying to bring attention to water issues… THAT was disruptive to what really mattered… (FOOTBALL.)

You also have people that still believe that a college education is ‘marginally beneficial’ (where the rest of the world understands it as ‘how you earn enough to eat,)

–and people still think they can do ‘just great by getting a full-time at Pelco,’ fer godssakes…

(Is it any wonder that the University is treated as little more than a means to an end for entertainment (sports)
–with applicable and viable majors screaming for minimal support?)

DLR says:

We live in an ag-based economy that depends heavily on under-educated immigrants. End of story.

It’s counting the 1 million metro area, too. The nearby towns aren’t exactly suburbs.

Kyle Lowe says:

At least we’re not a low-budget, tourist stop.

Oh wait.

Tim says:

I gets the bargan hardcovers so’s to level ups my house when the tires go flat

Ramon says:

George Bush must be from Fresno………

blake says:

Economics and education levels often go hand-in-hand. Not just in the ‘high education brings high economic standing’ sense, but also in the converse(?): ‘high economic standing brings high education’. We are, on the average, a not-rich area. Agricultural workers are not shown the same economic respect that some other workers are.

This is not an excuse. I come from a pretty-much blue collar family, and they put me through Fresno State and later through CSU Northridge for a teaching credential. BUT, my generation was the first in our family to *do* college.
My own kids are expected to. My daughter has applications in to (and a high chance of being accepted into) some purdy high-falootin’ universities that I would never have considered the possibility to have gone to—–sometimes it’s a generational progression.

Financial aid, and programs that encourage some of our less-fortunate community members to go on to college are cut back further all the time.

The poor get poorer and rich get richer.

Once again, not an excuse, but it’s a reality.

Do we give up? No. I know many folks intensely involved in education and in trying to raise up our community.

And yeah, where I work, there *is* a large piece of the population where English is not spoken.

So…does it suck when we feel dumped on? Sure.
Who DOES like it?
Do we get defensive at times. Hell yeah.
Do we keep pushin’ up in spite of it. Yes.
Are there actual dumb people who don’t care and will never try? Of course, but I doubt that many of them are on here reading.

Travis says:

This is something we can control and change. Get to learnin’, people. I must say, I do like hanging with smarties and I would match my group of friends with any other city on that list. I am speaking as a person who loves to learn and has little tolerance for stupidity.

James is right on the mark as it relates to some of the reason why we have lower educational attainment. It is also why we must, must, must protect the smarties that are around. Do not let them get too close to stupid people. We must insulate them. The cool thing is that many smart people like to share their talents and traits with others. This is where Andy’s point is very important. Smart + Action = Social Change. We need more action…and we need to promote the action that does go on.

Fresno, we were dissed. Ok. Now what. Go buy a book and read to a kid. Better yet, write. Write a lot. Fresno, you get a voice by using your voice. Start blogging (I am due for a post, btw) about the smart things going on. Smarties in other communities will start reading…even if it is to call bullsh!t.

Ok. back to the discussion. This should be really good to follow.

rob says:

Well I’ve yet to live in, or visit, a city filled with more ignorant, bigoted, and just plain dumb people than good old Fresno. I’ve lived in Los Angeles, East Texas, and Jerusalem to name a few places that can give Fresno a run for its money in some of those categories but not all. Fresno still take the cake and i don’t even hate Fresno; it just is what it is.

For what it’s worth we’re on the forefront of fascism, nationalism, and extremism if you’ve been listening to 580 or 1300am. Also, as for the christian mega churches in Fresno, i find their teachings present an interesting parallel to the teachings in fundamentalist islamic madrases; same philosophy and outlook just a different book and different people to hate. I believe that this plays a large part in the driving away of independent thinkers and the overall dumbing down of our populace. Remember history; they were called the dark ages for a reason.

i’m also willing to wager that 99% of the posters here on the beehive fall into the top 5%, if not higher, of Fresno’s educated class…. promoters excluded of course ;)

but i hear it’s a great place to raise a family

adrian says:

might want to stick a [sic] in that quote!!!!!!

FSDogs1 says:

Mike Oz is right in that we shouldn’t give too much credibility to these types of things, where certain factors are chosen and given certain percentages of weight in the overall “survey.”

Are there education problems in the Valley? Sure. But there are also segments that excel as much as anyone in the state (wonder how Clovis West test scores match up?)…Clovis West is in Fresno by the way.

Also found it funny that non-fiction book sales was a category. What? Was this survey funded by book stores or something? One might even argue that the smarter person would check out a non-fiction book from a library (FOR FREE) rather than paying for it at a book store. Or what about people who educate themselves by researching online?

Last thought, to the person who posted the response about the people getting kicked out of the football game recently…
While I agree with the cause they were supporting, I don’t agree with the forum used. It’s not the time or place. If you want to do that outside the stadium, that’s one thing, but one you’re in those seats, the people around you paid money to watch a sporting event, not to hear political debate. If you allow them to do it for water, what’s to stop a full-on, back-and-forth debate the next game on Prop 8 or health care? The fact that Fresno State football is the biggest stage in the Valley shouldn’t be taken advantage of in that way — that’s not what people are going to the games to experience.

The Cuyler family says:

Yup dem here is dumb

Ding says:

I wouldnt doubt it… went to the new UC there as one of the first graduates and the population in the valley is overall…. undesirable… lol im sure in time maybe itll improve but i dont doubt the possiblility that fresno is incompetent at the moment.

Travis says:

Rob, you make some solid points. You might be overly optimistic with the 5% remark…one can only hope. I’d be curious about the educational attainment of readers on the Hive.

The key is doing more stuff that makes us more smarter.

FrezSux says:

YAY! A new motto for our city: “Fresno, we really ARE that dumb”!! Can’t wait to buy the t-shirt. Gosh, and they didn’t even need to mention the tea-birther parties …

FresnoJoe says:


Ever wonder why in the last few years all those successful folk moved from SF & LA into Fresno or Clovis?

Yeap! Fresno Is Dumb (like a fox!)

What the Daily Beast was really measuring was not “intelligence,” but socioeconomic status. The poorer people are, the lower they rank on these items. Fresno is just extremely poor compared to places like the Bay Area, Boston, Seattle, Portland, etc.

Tom Joad says:

This finally explains why there are so many more Republican here and why the Free Republic was founded here.

559rell says:

What “successful folk” moved here?

No doubt people are moving here (mostly because of the cost of living)


People are also leaving (mostly considered a brain drain)…

It’s a real issue that these survey results are marred by the unaccounted-for effect that our agriculturally based economy doesn’t thrive on college graduates, test scores, or the readers of non-fiction…


The saddening issues we’ve been discussing and debating for so long still stand. We’ve got a lot of work to do, even amongst those that aren’t in the ag industry. Our problematic local government (historically), media, half-assed “professionals” with all the clout, and gap-toothed cityscape prove it.


FresYes and Loving It! says:

I think it is important to remember the magnitude of the loss. Only three cities scored below 46 on the ranking and of those only Fresno scored in the single digits. Fresno is stupid by a country mile.

The only thing to do is go with it. So, Fresno is fat, stupid, asthmatic, and poor. You can’t breathe the air. Shouldn’t drink the water. The former mayor was nicknamed Bubba. The local University losses lawsuits to employees AND the local business community – find another place where that happens. Jerry Tarkanian is beloved around town. The local football coach can pull down 1 mil without a winning season while the economy circles the drain and still complain that he doesn’t get enough respect. The local music critic thinks Fresno has a “scene”. Donald Trump gets the royal treatment here. The whole town is a cruel comedy of errors. Fresno is Greek tragedy on an epic scale. This city eats its young.

Just go with it. Irony is the only hope.

Look at the bright side – Bakersfield wasn’t even ranked!

Chris says:

I really think the problem is the lack of opportunity for recent college graduates in the first place. I am graduating from a top 25 university soon and opportunities for recent college graduates do not exist in Fresno. I would love to graduate, come back to Fresno, and make money equivalent to my education level. But in Fresno, it just wont happen. So the college grads, especially the good college grads, will not come back to Fresno.

Phillip says:

This isn’t a shock. Fresno doesn’t have a lot of opportunities for college graduates. That’s why most of the educated people move away. In my classes at Fresno State, every single time a professor ask if people are going to stay or leave Fresno, without fail at least 90% vote they will leave upon graduation.

Fresnongrad says:

It’s bizarre. I’m actually shocked that I was right. Years and years of running this town down. Years of being told that I’m jaded. Catharsis is bittersweet.

The fact is, there are few middle income jobs left anymore. Where is there to go? Assistant manager at one of our many Wal-Marts or Targets? Stay with Taco Bell while going to Fresno Silly College to qualify for a district manager post?

It seems that the largest segment of middle income earners are entrepreneurs of some stripe. Property management, building contractors, etc. Businesses that don’t require very many skilled employees. You know them, they’re those guys with boats on Millerton and a body by Budweiser.

The remaining mom and pop businesses in town are no longer in a position to pay more than minimum and are being squeezed out by out of town, out of state and sometimes out of country chains.

We’re a great town for investors to come into, buy up property on the cheap, force out local business with the consent of the city council (practically paid by the city to do it, beautification afterall) and then pay employees the least they can by the law.

But hey, at least theres the Raiders right?

bobojojo says:

What?? fresno has culture, have you not seen Fresno gone wild or the production company Based on a guy who got fired from taco bell?

fresno you suck

Bulldog4Life says:

What useful pupose did this study really serve? A bunch of pimple faced college kids from an “educated” city decided to take it upon themselves to skew data and manipulate results to make themselves feel better about living in the big city. What a complete waste of time, maybe they should spend their intelligent lives doing research which contributes to the quality of all our lives. Lets do a study to find out which of the largest cities has the most good looking people! Fresno would blow the competition away. Have you seen the women walking around this place. I love Fresno!

GAMSON says:




Chris says:

wait so is fiction the one with the real stuff in it or the made up stuff? i always cant remember that one.

Chris from Fresno

Jeffrey Whitaker says:

Well, I find this article intresting, and I agree with it. I am a very opinionated person and speak my mind. Yes I am A fresnan born and raised, but I find that too many people in this city have a small-minded mentality. What I mean is this, get a high school education and a wherehouse job paying ten bucks an hour and be happy with that. Where are the movers and shakers?? Im a cardiac ICU RN 37yo Fresno State Grad and I find it hard to meet people in my same educational background. Everyone seems to have 4 kids working at Milan Institute.

mdub420 says:

i’m pretty much as dumb as they come. i’m sorry fresno, but i helped out in making our city dumb. i’m literally a dumb decision away from becoming clinically insane. does that make sense? done don’t think so.

jimguy says:

Fresno is such a stupid city that Einstein wants his name off the park.

FresYes and Loving It! says:

So, my idiot brethren, let us get down to brass tacks. In the dumbest city in the US – perhaps……dare we dream the impossible dream… even the world – who is the area’s dumbest citizen?

Not one of the dumbest, but absolutely the most moronic, slobbering fool in Fresno?

Perhaps the way to turn this on its head is to have a contest to find the dumbest. Just make sure to explain irony beforehand. Perhaps you can even have an iron of irony at the contest for those who are more literally minded.

Let the race for the bottom begin.

Smokey Behr says:

The Bat-Guano Insane section is already taken up by Al Gore, Barack Obama, Arianna Huffington and Thomas Freidman.

TimY says:


First, the survey is of the 55 largest metro areas. It does not mean Fresno is the dumbest city in the US.

Second, surveys like this do have an effect. Companies look at them when considering relocating or investing in new sites. People look at them when considering where to live. I’m sure people in Sacramento, LA and San Francisco use studies like this as reasons not to invest in the Valley.

Reading the blog it seems like most people agree with the survey, which is sad.
Travis’ positive action list was great.

DLR says:

just have to laugh at the comment that says 90% of his/her classmates say they’re going to leave Fresno after they graduate!

Don’t we all say that at some point! How many of us were going to go somewhere besides Fresno State, too?

djkc says:

There’s some well-intentioned, intelligent people in Fresno, trying to bring it up and raise the collective intelligence, but there’s too many dumb people outnumbering them and who keep breeding. It’s just a losing battle. I’ve been here all my life, 49 years, watching (yes, I’m stuck in the black hole that is Fresno).

For example, just look at the way people in this town drive! I think I’m going to explode the next time I see cars leaving 3 carlengths between them and the next car at a stoplight! Half of them don’t even pull up to the limit line of the crosswalk! WTF is that all about?! A few stupid people started it, and pretty soon everyone’s jumped on the bandwagon. It becomes the latest “Fresno fashion” and it’s just stupid. I had a visitor from out of town ask me recently, why people leave so much room in the front of their cars at an intersection so that cars can’t get into the left turn lanes or pull out of shopping centers into traffic. I had no answer for him. How do you explain such imbecilic thinking?

My son, who moved out of Fresno and lives in one of the top-ranked cities in this survey, summed it up well: “Fresno smells like meth and desperation.”

Once I retire, I’m outta here.

UhBakingPowder says:

The women are so good looking here???

Have you ever even BEEN ANYWHERE ELSE to compare?

… This brings to light another reason why Fresno is such a dumb city: not enough people here have lived anyplace else, i.e. a city that’s run properly.

Too many people here look at being a lifelong Fresnan as a source of pride. Why is that????

It should be a GOOD thing to be exposed to a city that’s educated; a city whose government isn’t constantly pouring money into a black-hole of a downtown that NO ONE cares about; a city that truly supports the arts; a city that understands customer service industries; a city that’s home to a university that provides education, instead of free passes to athletes and payouts to lawsuits.

Anyway, the so-called “beautiful” people in Fresno are nothing more than knockoffs of Los Angeles people….

drlucky says:

Umm…the park is named after LOUIS Einstein not ALBERT Einstein, genius…

Anonymous says:

Actually Heather, the FRESNO BEE blurb misspelled “than”, but the original article wrote it correctly — didn’t you even check that article??

You just proved their point. You and the fresno bee.

Mike Oz says:

Actually, person who didn’t leave their name, I cut and paste that directly from their site.

You don’t think that they noticed the typo in the two days since that comment and just fixed it?

Thanks for trying, though.

Heather says:

I did, in fact, check the Daily Beast’s site before I made that comment, and it was their typo, which they have apparently fixed.

I know it’s much more fun to assume everyone sucks, but seriously. Calm down.

Snarkys_Machine says:

Tough crowd. Intelligence is determined by what side of the fence you are standing on when the ‘IQ’ test is handed out. Each city is its own unique ecosystem. The only way to compare cities (accurately as possible) is to place them against similar cities. These surveys often make the mistake of ‘Pineapples to hand gangrenes” comparison… Kinda looks the same lets test it! Unfortunately it doesn’t really work. Compare ‘Ag cities’ to ag cities, ‘Industrial’ to industrial, etc. etc. Then you might have a plausible account of what cities are falling behind, and who are going to take us into the future. Thankfully The Daily Beast didn’t sink its claws into Hanford. That would have been ugly.

kimcontrary says:

The truth is that some very intelligent people in the US are “from” Fresno..they were intelligent enough to leave and take all those smarts with them. If you disagree – fine. Just ask yourself what is it that keeps you in Fresno. The beautiful blue skies? The clean air?The parks that aren’t safe to be in after dark? Or is it routine? Cheap housing? The fact that you LIKE to drive in bumper to bumper traffic? I know…it’s the consecutive days of summer heat that reaches over 101. Think it over…leaving Fresno could be a very intelligent thing to do.

Preppy BOi says:


Anonymous says:

You were never smart. You are just a disgrace to Fresno. ;P

Adam says:

I’m surprised you guys could read this article… just playin’. GO SEATTLE! #7!

Hanna says:

I love you Fresnoians, or Frescans, or Fresnolites.
You guys really rock, love the commentary, the shoes, love it, love it, love it.

Cate says:

Yep, we’re from the Bay Area and somehow were talked into moving to Fresno for work a few years ago. Seriously, this IS the dumbest town in America. If you don’t think so, try living somewhere else for a while. I just accepted a job offer in San Francisco and we’re moving back there. At some point you just have to realize that there is no point in being a smart person in a dumb city. I’m perfectly happy to leave Fresno to the Dittoheads and go back to a city where people don’t feel the need to apologize for being intelligent, well-educated, and liberal.

Mike Oz says:

I was born and raised in the Bay Area, lived there my whole life until I moved here seven years ago. I’ve had quite the opposite experience. I like it here. But then again, you sound a little jaded.

SS says:

Its understandable considering Fresno is predominantly conservative who blindly believe in Limbaugh/Hannity/Beck and Jesus.

Benjamin Baxter says:

Fresno’s also one of the happiest cities in the U.S., according to Men’s Health. We beat out San Jose, for what it’s worth.

People here are friendly, but few are good for a serious conversation.

Mark says:

I blame the minorities.

Jen says:

I don’t know where the idiot who wrote that article got his info from, he didn’t do much research, he’s dead wrong. According to the 2008 city data (who get their resources from several reliable places), graduating from college or an academic institution is 25.1%, not less than 20%. And really, how many people take an IQ test? Of those few, how many are actually recorded?
Not to mention we don’t have a population over 1,00,000, Fresno & Clovis combined have about 500,000 … I like to travel, and El Paso has a much bigger pop. than Fresno, and definitely much less intelligent than us.
It’s like a few yrs. ago when that idiot gave the columnist from the SF Chronicle a tour of the bad area of Fresno and he wrote a really negative article about the city, but recanted it when was asked to come and give another tour where he was showed the other 1/2 of the city.

FresYes and Loving It! says:

Of course Fresno is one of the happiest places……Ignorance really is Bliss.

The dumb study and the happy study simply reinforce each other.

Pablo says:

“Fresno has a large immigrant population; a significant number of our residents don’t speak English.” You conclude that dumb immigrants have skewed the study?

As a recent immigrant I find that the survey is pretty accurate, Fresnans overall do not seem to value intellectual growth or openness to culture; it’s something we noticed immediately bc of contrast to other cities and countries I’ve lived in. I think that the biggest hold-back is the bat-guano conservative mentality and thug mentality, the two extremes that thrive in Fresno. I remember my astonishment at how many expensive christian churches I found on my first drive on east Herndon, then hearing about the bulldog gang prblm.

JD says:

Conan O’Brien joked about this the other night, it was pretty funny (and quite harsh at the same time), but like many other people had said, it is what it is – an ag-base economy and other factors that doesn’t require its population to be the brightest or smartest.

I’m a graduate of Fresno State and I love my time at the school, but beyond that there’s nothing there for me, so I moved down to L.A. And I know many people like me who left town after graduation.

bluemeanie says:

I’ve been a resident of Fresno since 1977, a Fresno State graduate and have indeed seen a total “dumbing” down of Fresno in the last 10 years. We DESERVE this title. It’s apparent that because of the affordability of living in Fresno, we have attracted the worst elements from all over the state to move here. We now have the dumbest, meanest and rudest drivers in the state (take a drive on 99, 41, 180 or 168 and you’ll experience Mad Max-type driving, tailgating at high speeds and rubbernecking at any car on the side of the road) and our educational systems in the valley are a complete and utter disgrace. My wife, who recently emigrated here from China 4 years ago, couldn’t believe the incompetence and laziness of most of the Fresno City College professors. Whenever I walk into a mall, I hear the most unintelligible banter on cell phones and foul-mouthed chatting amongst twenty-year-old thugs. At a gas station, I hear vile, profanity-laced rap music pumping from cars, with very small children in the back seat, subjected to such obscene material. Recently, when my car was rear ended by a female truck driver talking on her cell phone, the CHP officer who came out to take a report on the obvious clear cut accident, was so idiotic, he couldn’t determine who was at fault! Living in Fresno is truly like living in the world of “Idiocracy” (a movie that all Fresnans should watch) where even the smallest iota of common sense, self/mutual respect and decency doesn’t exist.

Yes, there are still intelligent and decent people living in Fresno trying to better this city by vainly instilling it with culture and generosity, but it’s few and far between. This city is being rapidly outnumbered by the overwhelming masses of low class, uneducated, multi-racial riff raff that use, abuse and trash this once decent agricultural city. Fresno is turning into a dumb, thug-infested Tower of Babel, where the narcissistic rich in the north part of town are just as trashy and irresponsible as the lower classes in the south part of town. If it weren’t for my great job and the affordable mortgage on my house, I would be out of this cesspool of morons so fast, it would make your head spin.

J. McElroy says:

What’s a hand gangrene?

Fresno Resident says:

It’s not even close to being that bad, get off your high horse.

Actually, I still think you proved their point. Regardless of how smart you are, if you ever actually write more than two or three words, especially online, you will eventually make a typographical error and it will be missed by you and your “editors.”

For Fresnans to float or endorse the idea that Heather-with-four-year-degree, or anyone else, somehow redeemed Fresno and proved The Beast wrong by catching the typo is further evidence that Fresno may deserve its position in this survey.

jdzitro says:

Yup, Fresno is pretty fuxin stupid. Can’t wait to get out of here.

Gabe says:

gotta register some agreement here. i’m from fresno but live in N. Bay now. This study is mostly a study of how many college degrees fresnans have, unfortunately, most fresnans leave town, like i did, to get their degree and then they stay gone. also, the number of professional jobs in fresno is probably much less than other bigger cities so the masters degrees head outta town too.

so what does this study tell us except that fresno is not driven by professional services, but instead by, lets think here…maybe agriculture?

Leon says:

Well with your comment (Yo Sh*t) this proves their study is right on the money, they also forgot to mention that Fresno also ranks last in the place where you will find people with any sort of “class”.

559rell says:

Well, no… sounds pretty spot on to me. Sure, if you isolate yourself, it doesn’t SEEM that bad, but I’ve frequently seen most everything in that post.

But, I’d say that drivers suck in most large cities, We just have more room on our freeways (less people) in which to do that crazy stuff. Most other large cities have too many traffic jams prohibiting people from doing crazy stuff at breakneck speeds.

They do their crazy every 5 mins, as traffic starts moving again, in LA.

Itsjustanumber says:

I have lived in Los Angeles, Sacramento, San Diego, London, and Fresno and can tell you that it is just a number.

Every city has its crazy drivers, stupid people and rednecks. No persons experience written about Fresno proves that its a horrible place.

While Fresno may lack many of the amenities of 1M+ cities, it does not make it a bad place to live.

Fresno has a lot to offer those who are looking to get ahead and is a far better place to live than the thousands of U.S. towns out there without good schools or educated people.

Lee says:

For anyone who lives in Fresno….this article proves entirely true. Half of the city’s population can’t even speak English and the most popular hobbies include: drug use, consumption of alcohol, violence, and being on unemployment. In Fresno, getting a college degree and enjoying a good book are looked down upon. Can’t wait to get out of this town and see what happens to its youth in the coming years.

Mike Oz says:

You don’t think Fresno’s No. 1 hobby is talking sh*t about Fresno? People seem to love that.

Lee says:

Why not talk bad about Fresno? I didn’t choose to be born here. And most people here are actually boiling over with “Fresno Pride”. It’s really an embarrassment to be the resident of such a small minded, republican, christian city right in the middle of democratic California. GO METH AND JESUS! OH AND TUPAC! (sarcasm to say the least)

Lee says:

…and just for those who say, “Fresno is multicultural and very diverse.”….being a town overflowing with catholic and christian hispanics doesn’t count as being “diverse”. While protesting during the infamous PROP 8 rally ( i was opposed to the prop) all i was told was,”You are going to hell, you don’t belong in this town.” Well at least they were right about one thing…. I don’t belong here. I am done ranting. I am just happy someone finally told the city how it was looked upon by others.

Celeste says:

There are true statistical flaws in this study. Looking at this “study” from the micro-economic. Look at the comparisons between Fresno, and San Francisco. Much of the economy of Fresno is agrarian where much of the economy of San Fran is technologically based. That equates to a higher income and a higher level of Education great use of resources.
Before you all embrace a negative viewpoint look at what is being compared., search for Fresno and San Francisco. Then ask yourself was Fresno even supposed to make this study. I would say not.

I heart Fresno says:

I was born and raised in Fresno. I’m set to graduate with my medical doctor degree from a US allopathic school in May 2010. Many of my high school classmates are currently studying for PhD’s at Ivy league schools. Some are already lawyers, doctors or successful business people. Fresno most definitely has the resources to cultivate intelligent and productive citizens. Fresnans, go show these people wrong!

JeanAnn Hurst says:

There is a factual explanation for Fresno coming in dead last in all categories(No pun intended)PESTICIDE POISONING by cholinergic agents organophosphates,
carbamates and pyrethroid-poisoning.With the establishment of EPA in 1970 the federal government began exposing California with these brain-altering chemicals.

danny says:

A relatively large percentage of fresno’s population are immigrants and the main industries in fresno, ag/construction don’t require people with masters degrees. I’m not implying that Fresnans are as educated as they should be, but just because we don’t measure up in a few particular categories doesn’t equate to us being inherently stupid. In fact the whole idea of rating cities on educational attainment is flawed in it’s narrowness. Large forces shape the nature of Fresno and it’s people, this study doesn’t take into account these forces,which really reduces it’s educational value.

Dani Bergstrom says:

Okay, while there’s merit to everyone’s anecdotal evidence about their friends with Ivy degrees from Fresno, or that there’s a lot of people in so-and-so organization doing something awesome in Fresno, or that you think you are the smartest person alive, let’s be real.

The stats don’t lie. Comparatively speaking in the US, we are at the bottom in terms of educational attainment. Meaning? We have a really uneducated population, overall.

Why does this matter? Because we have the highest rate of concentrated poverty IN THE NATION. And one of the top poverty rates in the nation. And when poverty is directly correlated to the educational attainment of the population, we just can’t ignore the stats about the “dumbness” of our city.

It is a sad, unjust thing to ignore the truths about the education of the population in Fresno. Instead of being pissed at people for calling us dumb, why don’t we instead be a part of the solution? Start mentoring kids in areas with poor school performance. Support politicians who bring investment back into the downtown and inner ring suburbs. Vote with your feet and with your wallet–make sure you’re not furthering the flight to the suburbs and support businesses who pay their workers a wage they can live on so that their kids might have a fighting chance at actually finishing school and maybe going to college.

But as long as we ignore our problems, say this is a bogus study, and cry that everyone likes to pick on us, our problems will get worse.

Fresno, let’s be smart. Be a part of the solution to make sure everyone is getting a good, quality education.

Dani Bergstrom

review72 says:

It says “less than” in the original information.
Mike Oz misquoted it. But be nice to him, I think he may be from Fresno.

Mike Oz says:

Actually, as we’ve already covered in this comment thread, the site must have went back and edited it after I posted this. But I’ll be nice to you — you may not be very smart.

Fresno BullDOGS says:

Are you kidding??? The women are UGLY, FAAAATTTT and rude with no feminine grace!

Escaped from Fresno says:

I think of Fresno as a vacuum cleaner and the people are the lint balls.
Only the strong lint balls don’t get sucked up into the life of Fresno and they are able to escape the city. While the weak ones are sucked up and can not escape the dirt, and the imprisonment of Fresno.
And frankly the reason it is the stupidest city, is because all the smart people left.

MG says:

It is truly amazing how people can form attacks on each other after responding to something so degrading. Doesn’t this just add fuel to the fire? Now is a time to come together and see what we can do to improve the eduational system. As an educator, I have seen a wide variety of students. Some have more talent than others, but there are areas in life to accommodate all no matter what degree of education a person has. It is not right to lump everyone in one bundle. After all, it is a known fact that surveys can produce favorite outcomes depending on the surveyor. Peace!

CG says:

Hahaha, wow this is actually a really amusing and offensive article at the same time. Yes, i am one of the pitied fools who live in this city. And for all those ppl trying to “stand up” for Fresno…. dude chill. This article really is spot on, I actually had more fun reading the honest/pissed off/rude comments than the actual article. But I have to give this city a little credit, if you have ACTUALLY lived her, and on the southeast(AKA ghetto and ignorance breeding ground) side like me; then you would know that Fresno’s economy is based off pretty much only our agriculture, as we provide a good majority of the fruits and vegetables found in supermarkets around the nation. Being based off an ag economy, the need for prestigious, or even mediocre, education is nonexistent. Probably 40%, at the least, of people at my school i would say, live in poverty or extreme lower class and are of low intelligence. Thus the socio-economic majority of Fresno is really low, especially concerning the population compared to larger urban cities with similar gang, drug, and poverty levels. Education here is not seen as an importance, so sadly people who actually appreciate knowledge (like me U__U) are completely on their own, and also breeds only more ignorance and poverty. So thats pretty much the reason the majority of Fresnans are always cussing, smoking, drinking, being poor, and yes, driving crazy. Oh and pretending to be rich hahaha. But I find it annoying that they assume that everyone is “dumb”, although most people who are of high intelligence will more than likely leave Fresno. But for the most part Fresno is a complete sh*thole. I plan on leaving also, it is sad to say that I dont see a realistic future in turning our culture around. Oh and to all those getting so defensive, making fun of Fresno IS practically considered a national sport here. I do it all the time. How could you not, when Fresno is ranked number one in recycling in the nation? This is extremely hilarious to me as you get paid to recycle here. SO its not because we are concerned about the environment in the slightest. Or how Fresno has one of, if not the largest population, of Hmongs in the nation. Or for those that dont know, the Asian people in Gran Turino(if thats what its called, dont remember). WHo in turn make up the majority of people working at Pelco and in the ag fields. Or how Fresno has,or had, the highest murder rate in the nation. It really is a bad place to live, its just sad that a progressive movement for Fresno will never really happen. SOrry, wrote ALOT… but had to when we ranked DEAD LAST haha.

local dummy says:

Quit patting yourself in the back “Heather” for catching a type-o. I have a college degree too and I agree with the studies findings. Have you been to courthouse in downtown? have you been to the DMV? Food Maxx. People here voted Palin for crying out loud!

Chris says:

Those authors would be in the “Socialistic False Propaganda Bow Down To Our New Savior” category.

An educated non-Fresnan says:

Thank You local dummy, you hit the nail on the head!!! It just goes to show how the republican party caters to the uneducated and ignorant!

T. Boone Jacks says:

I have lived in Fresno most of my life. I find that this city is filled with a bunch of American Pigs! People who can hardly read a stop sign.

Incidentally I have an Ivy League education and am a graduate of Fresno’s elite Edison Computech High School. Why would someone of my credentials remain is such a festering pool of intellectual depravity? Simple…

In the valley of the blind the one eyed man will be king!

Ajanae says:

Well, I was born in Fresno, CA ( I love it <3), raised in Anchorage, AK and all I can say is when I went to school in Fresno (2 years ago, for sixth grade-only a month though) it was as if the teacher expected me to know middle school algebra already, that may be where the problem is, the teachers don’t prep and teach thoroughly enough. I mean I can’t say I know how they run things there but from my expriance, it seems that’s the reason why so many people fail and end up dropping out of school at an early age.

Sergio says:

Hmmmm they’re measuring the education, who has a degree, book purchases etc etc. What does intelligence have to do with that? I know a lot of stupid people in college and a lot of highly intelligent people who cannot go to college due to funds, work schedule, or other compromises.

Since I started college learned very little; take into consideration that I read the encyclopledia for fun. So I think that was “the dumbest” post I’ve seen.

YankeeM says:

Fresno as part of California, which is rated #43 in EDUCATION ( and # 1 in VIOLENT CRIME ( and then we can go to various sites like the US Department of Justice that rates the California Central Valley with 4 dedicated pages saying it’s a HIGH INTENSITY DRUG TRAFFICKING AREA….and then you can go to and find that Fresno is 2nd in euthanization of animals in the entire USA with other organizations supporting this..and oh, then you can use the US Census and find that most of FresNO is living 25% below the poverty level….never mind your constant reminder of the FACT that FresNO is #2 in WORST AIR QUALITY (next to Pittsburg, PA)….gee, what a great place to work, “play” and raise your sweet little kids, near all of these prisons (prison valley)…yeah, Clovis…you’re part of this place too, in spite of your license plate frames that clearly say you are not…ha!
I’m not stuck here…and many are…so that’s the reality! Move…or HIDE or live in DENIAL.COM!

cynthia curran says:

Well, Portland is poor. It has a 12 percent white poverty rate which is high. Portland isn’t all that high in education levels compared to a lot of towns in the US. Take a Irvine which has about 62 percent of folks finished college while Portland is under 40 percent-what nonsense. Portland is behind even Anaheim and Santa Ana in Orange County cities with a lot of poor hispanic immirgants in terms of average income and poverty rates, so Frenso has a good reason to be poor but Portland which is mainly white and not in a poor region doesn’t.

Kelly says:

That is hilarious! It’s good to be King, isn’t it? ;)

Ugly Animals says:

“I have lived in Fresno most of my life. I find that this city is filled with a bunch of American Pigs! People who can hardly read a stop sign. ”

Lol you have not met me yet probably. Fresno is full of nice people. Well, each to their own.

Juan de Monterrey says:

I thought Fresno was nice. Just a bunch of people trying to make a living. Maybe not as well-educated as elsewhere, but just as smart as anywhere. Less maliciousness is nice to have. Hopefully, the drug traffickers will be soon wiped out by the Mexican army so there will be less drug in Fresno.

megs says:

Unfortunately, I agree that the overall intelligence of people in Fresno is super low. To be fair, as the article points out, Fresno is the breadbasket of America. As such, we are home to a huge amount of migrant workers that choose to bust their asses in fields in order to support their families, rather than getting non-existent funding for college educations.

bobobob says:

i hate this town,,, save me!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!