Exploring Politeness in the Northeast: New Jersey’s Surprising Ranking


The Northeastern region of the United States, and New Jersey in particular, has long carried the label of being less than courteous. A recent study conducted by Preply, a language instruction site, delves into the nuances of politeness, shedding light on the behaviors and language habits of residents. Surprisingly, New Jersey doesn’t hold the dubious honor of being the least polite state, but rather, it claims the second spot in the rankings.

Survey Insights

The survey encompassed a spectrum of behaviors and language choices associated with politeness. Respondents were probed on actions like holding doors for others, expressing gratitude with “please” and “thank you,” and other subtle indicators of courtesy.

Compliment Culture: A Rare Occurrence (24%)
New Jersey residents scored low in the frequency of complimenting others, with only 24 percent reporting doing so at least once a week. The question arises – how often do people genuinely extend compliments randomly?

Offensive Language: A Noteworthy 33%
A somewhat surprising revelation is that 33 percent of residents admit to regularly using offensive language. This statistic prompts reflection on the prevalent communication norms in the state.

Polite Expressions: Room for Improvement (53%)
The use of basic polite expressions like “please” and “thank you” seems to be lacking, with only 53 percent of residents reporting regular usage. This finding raises questions about the social fabric and interpersonal interactions in the state.

Gratitude Gestures: Decline in Tradition (51%)
In an era dominated by digital communication, the tradition of sending “thank you” notes after receiving gifts appears to be on the decline, with only 51 percent of residents adhering to this practice. The shift towards electronic expressions may be a contributing factor.

Road Courtesy: New Jersey’s Nonchalant Stance
New Jersey stands out as the state least concerned about being a courteous driver. This fact manifests itself daily on the state’s roads, sparking discussions about road etiquette and its impact on the overall perception of politeness.

Regional Comparisons: Southern Charm vs. Northeastern Bluntness

Contrary to the Northeast’s reputation, the study identifies the top six most polite states, all of which are located below the Mason-Dixon Line. Arkansas claims the crown as the most polite state, followed by Georgia, Alabama, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Kentucky.

The Pinnacle of Rudeness

While New Jersey may not be the epitome of rudeness, it falls short of the top spot. Surprisingly, the least polite state according to the study is Nevada. Despite being home to a city built on hospitality (Las Vegas), Nevada residents evidently embrace a level of rudeness that surpasses even the often-maligned reputation of the Garden State.


The Preply study offers a nuanced perspective on politeness, challenging stereotypes associated with New Jersey and the Northeast. While the state may not clinch the title of the least polite, there’s room for improvement. The findings prompt contemplation on cultural norms, communication dynamics, and the evolving landscape of politeness in the digital age.

Leave A Reply

Your email address will not be published.