America’s Most Boring Cities: Columbus Ranks in Top 10

Fact Checked by Michael Peters

It’s hard to believe anyone might think Columbus, Ohio, hometown to ‘THE’ Ohio State University and the mighty Buckeyes, could be a boring place to be. Maybe some people think there’s nothing to do there after football season.

It doesn’t help that rival Michigan currently enjoys a three-game win streak over Ohio State. That could be why some think Columbus, Ohio, is boring at this moment in time. took a break from Ohio sports betting coverage and set to find out which major city is the most boring by surveying 600 U.S. residents via’s /AskReddit subreddit to utilize their commented answers from the question, “What is the most boring major U.S. city?” Only cities within the Top 50 in population in the United States were included.

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America’s Most Boring Cities: Survey Results

RankCity # of Votes% of Votes
1Indianapolis, IN335.5%
2San Jose, CA315.2%
3Phoenix, AZ264.3%
4Houston, TX244.0%
5Raleigh, NC233.8%
T-6Dallas, TX223.7%
T-6Jacksonville, FL223.7%
8Columbus, OH203.3%
9Omaha, NE193.2%
10Bakersfield, CA183.0%

Columbus Lands Spot in the Top 10

The survey put Indianapolis at No. 1 for most boring, while San Jose, California, sits at No. 2 and Phoenix picked up the bronze medal at No. 3 on the list. Columbus comes in at No. 8, with 3.3% of the votes, just after Dallas and Jacksonville, Florida.

California is one of two states to post two cities in the Top 10, as Bakersfield comes in at No. 10 to join San Jose. Texas is the other, as the heat from the concrete jungles that make up Houston and Dallas tend to drive everyone inside all summer.

Texans can’t stay inside during September, when it’s still 100 degrees, because that’s when high school football gets rolling, and there’s not many who can stay away from that in Texas.

That puts three of the nine largest cities in the country among the Top 10 most boring, as Houston is the fourth largest, followed by Phoenix at No. 5 and Dallas at No. 9. No one’s ever going to call the three biggest cities boring — New York City, Los Angeles and Chicago.

But back to Columbus. Looking around for reasons why people think Columbus is boring, it’s generally because most think Cincinnati and Cleveland have more to offer. However, there are plenty of people in forums who clap back at anyone who tries to say there’s nothing to do in Columbus.

One letter to the editor of the Columbus Dispatch following a January editorial seemed to wrap up part of the problem. The paper had asked its readers “What do you think of when you think of Columbus?” 

Not surprisingly, Ohio State led the poll with 36%, while “A welcoming Midwest city” was second at 28%. That letter to the editor about the editorial suggested the city slogan should be “The heart of Ohio, the heart of the Midwest.”

That sounds more endearing than boring. According to the Dispatch, growth is expected to take the Columbus regional population past 3.15 million by 2050. If that’s the case, the city would do well to do all it can to lose any remnants of a boring reputation. One thing that for sure isn’t boring is, where you can find the best Ohio sports betting promos.

USA Today photo by Barbara J. Perenic.


Douglas Pils has been a sports journalist for 30 years in Texas, Arkansas and New York having worked for the San Antonio Express-News, the Associated Press, The Dallas Morning News and Newsday. He most recently ran the Student Media Department at Texas A&M for eight years.

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