I guess when the shit hit the fan now you know where to go and hide.
You know those folks who ride lawn motors, decorate their trailers with taxidermied raccoons and think NASCAR is the greatest thing since Skoal chewing tobacco? According to Movoto, a real estate brokerage firm in San Mateo, Calif., they’re most likely to live in one of 10 cities across the United States, which Movoto has dubbed the “Most Redneck.”
The top cities on the list include Sacramento, Calif. ( No. 8); Tulsa, Okla. (No. 5); and Kansas City (No. 2). Atlanta took top honors.
The site judged the cities based on an array of criteria, including nearby gun and ammo stores, cowboy boot stores, local taxidermists, Walmart locations, NASCAR tracks, country radio stations and the percent of the population that didn’t complete high school.
According to the report, Atlanta has 81 shops that repair riding lawn mowers; 55 gun and ammo stores; 34 boot stores; 14 taxidermy shops; five Walmart locations; one country radio station in the city proper, and one NASCAR track.
“Add it all up and Atlanta just beat out Kansas City, Mo., for tops on the list,” Movoto spokesman Nick Johnson told ABC News. “So, if I were to try and quantify everything, I’d say that Atlanta didn’t stand out too much, but it was right about in the middle, overall, for everything, while other cities were up and down enough that middle of the road won out.”
Mesa, Ariz. — ranked No. 10 — had the highest number of gun and ammo stores per capita, with 132 for a population of about 446,000, according to the report. Mesa also ranked in the top three for the number of NASCAR tracks, taxidermists, and Walmart locations. Of course, one person’s redneck capital is another person’s refuge; Forbes counted Mesa among the best 25 places to retire in 2013.
Despite the obvious levity of the ranking, some readers were not amused.
“This is a totally useless, elitist article,” a reader named Steve posted on the Movoto blog. “It’s written about on the level of Brian the dog on ‘Family Guy.’ It’s almost impossible to believe that not only is someone getting paid for this, but that it’s published at all.”
“Cat In The ATL” had this to say: “I live in the city of Atlanta, and it’s many things, but redneck is not one of them. There are only 4 or 5 Walmarts in the entire city, not that the number of Walmarts determines ‘redneckness.’ High school graduations rates are not a good indicator either.”
Others were also offended, though not for the reasons you’d think. An op-ed in the Kansas City Star, for example, fumed because the town ranked second and not first.
“Movoto also should have considered the number of widely publicized barbecue contests a city might have, the huge attendance for such events, the obesity rate of the area, country restaurants, country nightclubs and big events in town such as the American Royal, parade, rodeo and livestock shows,” wrote Lewis W. Diguid. “Kansas City should have ranked No. 1 instead of that prize going to Atlanta.”
Johnson claims to be puzzled by the pushback.
“There were a lot of pretty upset people,” he said. “We thought we’d get a lot of people saying, ‘Heck yeah, I’m proud to be a redneck!’ But I talked to a guy in Atlanta, and he felt it was insulting. He said, ‘What do you know about rednecks and how are you going to determine that NASCAR, Walmart and country music are what rednecks are about’?”
“The post is funny,” Johnson continued. “The person who wrote it said, ‘I’m a redneck myself.’ We weren’t trying to say there’s anything wrong with being a redneck. We were trying to generate a discussion in a lighthearted way.”
The company was also, not surprisingly, trying to generate publicity.
“We started out as a real estate blog which talked about real estate news, but we’ve evolved into a blog which talks about cities/quality of life, and this story was a spinoff of that,” Johnson said. “So, while the blog started as a way to grow awareness about Movoto, it’s become a way for us to stay top of mind and create discussions/awareness of city life and to start conversations about different metro areas and what it’s like to ‘live’ there.”
The company has also aggregated the top 10 least hip cities to live in (El Paso took tops); the top ten worst dressed cities (Wichita); and the top ten cities for gamers. Number one on that list? Atlanta.