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A view of the Philadelphia skyline from Rodin College House on Sept. 12, 2019. Credit: Zihan Chen

While a recent survey found Philadelphia to be the rudest city in the United States, several Penn students who grew up in Philadelphia disagree. 

The survey, which was conducted and released by Preply, a language-learning app, found that Philadelphia — with an average rudeness score of 6.43 out of 10 — beat out second- and third-rudest cities Memphis, Tennessee and New York, which earned rudeness scores of 6.05 and 6, respectively. The average rudeness score of all the cities included in the study was 5.10. 

Preply surveyed 1,500 residents in the 30 largest metropolitan areas across the nation, asking locals to rate the rudeness of their cities. The survey included questions regarding which common rude behaviors were most prevalent around their cities, such as talking on a speaker in public, not letting people merge in traffic, watching videos in public, closed-off body language, and being absorbed by your phone in public. 

The survey also asked whether respondents found locals or non-locals to be ruder. Philadelphia was one of the cities where locals were credited with rudeness.

Philadelphia was determined to be the city most likely to have locals talking on speaker in public of the common rude behaviors considered in the study.

College senior Sienna Robinson, a Philadelphia native, said she thought that this finding was interesting. 

“I wouldn’t have thought of that as a behavior I saw super often, but I’m not sure if that’s because I’m used to it and don’t notice it, or if it doesn’t happen super often,” she said. “The first thing that came to mind was not saying hi to people on the street or walking around with headphones in.”

College senior Megan Shelton, also a Philadelphia native, said that while she thinks Philadelphia residents engage in some of the behaviors mentioned in the survey, she has never thought that natives were particularly rude before.

“I’ve never thought of Philly as one of the ruder cities out there. I always figured places like New York City would be ranked ruder than Philly, so I was surprised to find out it’s the opposite,” she said. 

Robinson echoed Shelton, adding that the qualities of "independence" and "self-sufficiency" might be perceived by some as rudeness, but these qualities may be requirements to thrive in a city atmosphere. 

“I feel like you need a certain edge to live in the city. With so many people and so many different things going on, I feel like it’s most beneficial to just do your own things and have your own interests in mind, which I’m sure can come off as rude,” Robinson said.