Everyone thinks that their hometown is dumb (in its own way). Most of the time, those saying that can be ignorant of the world around them and perhaps a little arrogant in their own self-importance. I’ve been there, and I was like that. Luckily, I’ve learned, and I believe I have changed. I firmly believe in the big difference between street smarts and book smarts. But how will that affect your life and your community? Like everything in life, it varies from person to person and from place to place.

The fine folks at 247WallSt.com released an article counting down the 50 least educated zip codes in the United States. Upon going through the list, I was thrilled to see Washington only show up once (looking at you, California)!


The list of the least educated zip codes reviewed five-year estimates of the percentage of adults 25 years and older with at least a bachelor’s degree. Additional statistics that were used included adults who have completed at least high school or equivalent, taking into account median household income, unemployment rates, and the labor force. Click here to see a further breakdown of how they complied with their information.

Just because you live in this Washington town doesn’t mean your dumb. Education does not always equal success. It helps, but then again, with this list looking at bachelor’s degrees, I know many workers in specific trades who do quite well for themselves. Do they have that fancy piece of paper hanging on their wall? Do they have the piles of student loans that can come with that paper?


So as you think about all of that, know that if you live in the zip code 99173, the area inside Steven’s County containing the town of Springdale, Washington, you’re not dumb; there just aren’t many bachelor’s degrees hanging on walls in your town.

Springdale Washington Map
Google Maps

The list from Wall St. 24/7 ranked the zip code 99173 (but more specifically Springdale, Washington) at number 41. The ranking is based on these findings:

Adults with at least a bachelor’s degree: 4.2%
Adults with at least a high school diploma or equivalent: 86.6% — 6,497th lowest of 20,112 ZIP codes (tied)
Median household income: $34,889 — 1,194th lowest of 20,099 ZIP codes
Estimated unemployment rate 2015-2019: 9.3% — 1,843rd highest of 20,109 ZIP codes (tied)
Population: 1,673

So, take this list with a grain of salt. Upon looking at the numbers, one thing seemed out of place. The list has a population of 1,673, but according to Google, the population (as of 2021) was only 243 (at least of the town, maybe the list looked at the edges of neighboring cities and towns still inside that zip code). I found it amusing, and I hope you did as well. Let’s focus on what’s important: Washington’s town is ranked at #41, not #1, like Calipatria, California!

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