The Most and Least ‘American’ Cities

Independence Day is right around the corner. Which cities most -- and least -- resemble the nation as a whole?

The Most and Least ‘American’ Cities Photo (cc) by toledo589ad

If it were possible to translate the identity of the United States into numbers, what would the statistics tell us?

That’s what WalletHub recently set out to determine in honor of the upcoming Independence Day holiday.

On one hand, using words to define what’s “American” can be a murky task. As WalletHub explains:

We can safely lay claim to Buffalo wings, bluegrass and David Letterman. But we can’t have it all. Contrary to popular belief, English isn’t our official language. And the rumor that New York’s Italian immigrants invented pizza? That’s been laid to rest. Heck, even Lady Liberty is formerly a French citizen.

(The U.S. technically does not have a designated national language, and the Statue of Liberty is “a gift of friendship from the people of France to the United States,” as the national monument’s website explains.)

On the other hand, using numbers to define “American” is an easier task.

To determine which cities most and least resemble the nation, WalletHub examined sociodemographic statistics ranging from age, gender and income to more complex measures such as household makeup and housing tenure.

Of the 381 areas WalletHub examined, the most “American” metros are:

  1. Indianapolis-Carmel-Anderson, Indiana
  2. Cincinnati, Ohio-Kentucky-Indiana
  3. Charleston-North Charleston, South Carolina
  4. Nashville-Davidson-Murfreesboro-Franklin, Tennessee
  5. Jacksonville, Florida
  6. Charlotte-Concord-Gastonia, North Carolina-South Carolina
  7. Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
  8. St. Louis, Missouri-Illinois
  9. Greensboro-High Point, North Carolina
  10. Phoenix-Mesa-Scottsdale, Arizona

The least “American” cities are:

  1. Altoona, Pennsylvania
  2. Boulder, Colorado
  3. Beckley, West Virginia
  4. Barnstable, Massachusetts
  5. Provo-Orem, Utah
  6. Ames, Iowa
  7. Lake Havasu City-Kingman, Arizona
  8. Brownsville-Harlingen, Texas
  9. The Villages, Florida
  10. McAllen-Edinburg-Mission, Texas

The rest of the rankings are available here.

What do you think of the rankings? Are these truly the most and least American cities? Sound off below or on Facebook.

Karla Bowsher
Karla Bowsher
I’m a freelance journalist and former newspaper reporter who has covered both personal and public finance. I've worked for a top 50 major metro daily and a community newspaper as well as ... More


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