YouGov recently asked more than 77,000 people whether they think the people in their state tend to be more rude or more polite than most Americans.
The self-declared rudest state in America is Rhode Island, where 42% say they believe people in their state tend to be more rude than most Americans. Just 9% of Rhode Island’s residents say they think their population is unusually polite.
Residents of several other Northeastern states also tend to think the people who live there are exceptionally rude.
Rhode Island’s neighboring state of Massachusetts fares poorly - 40% of the people who live there say they think people in this state tend to be “Massholes,” that is to say, more rude than most Americans. In New Jersey (34%) and New York (30%), about one-third think their state is meaner than most.
On the opposite end of the spectrum, the state that considers itself to be the nicest is Hawaii. Three in five (60%) Hawaii residents say that people in their state tend to be more polite than most Americans, while just 10% think their residents are ruder than most. Vermont (51%) and South Dakota (51%) also rank highly, followed closely by North Dakota (49%) and Wyoming (49%).
The ideals of Southern charm and hospitality seem to be upheld by residents of these states. In almost every Southern state, residents are likely to say the people who live there are more polite than most Americans. The one exception is the state of Florida, where 27% think their residents are ruder than most while fewer (18%) say they’re more polite than the majority of the country.
Similarly, the Midwest mostly maintains its reputation as a friendly place. In almost every Midwestern state, residents are more likely to say the people who live there are more polite than most Americans.
See full results here.
Methodology: 77,005 US adults 18+ were asked “Do you think that people in your state tend to be more rude or more polite than most Americans?” with answer options for “More polite,” “About the same,” “More rude,” and “Don’t know.” This survey was conducted December 23, 2020 – January 6, 2021. The responding sample is weighted to be representative of the US population.