Holy cow! Americans are definitely NOT shy when it comes to profanity. New research found that the average American swears 21 times each day — but Phoenix is the No. 1 U.S. city that swears the least.
Preply surveyed over 1,500 residents of 30 major U.S. cities to determine which cities swear the most on average.
• According to respondents, Phoenix ties for No. 1 U.S. city that swears the least (14 times per day).
• The average age Phoenix respondents started swearing was 10.
• 69% said they’ve used swear words at work.
• 71% said they’ve used swear words in front of strangers.
The U.S. cities that swear the most (and the least)
Americans are not exactly shy when it comes to profanity. On average, respondents swear 21 times each day. Younger generations are more likely to use swear words, with Gen Z swearing an average of 24 times per day compared to Baby Boomers swearing 10 times per day. Men (22 swears per day) also swear more than women (18 swears per day).
According to residents, Columbus, Ohio, is the major U.S. city that swears the most per day. At an average of 36 swears per day, Columbusites may have foul mouths, but they’re followed closely by Las Vegas, Nevada residents, who swear an average of 30 times per day. In third place is Jacksonville, Florida, where locals swear an average of 28 times daily.
Each city on the map swears at or above the national average. But what about cities that swear less than that? If you’re sensitive to swear words, perhaps one of the following cities would be a great home or vacation spot.
If you’re looking for a city where profanity is rare, look no further than Phoenix, Arizona, and Portland, Oregon. Residents of each city swear an average of 14 times per day, which is a third less than the national average. In general, cities located in the Western states use less profanity.
We also asked respondents to report the age they first used a swear word. For most Americans, it was around 11 years old — but one city stood out — in San Jose, California, residents started swearing at an average age of 9!
Where Americans use swear words
Next, we dove into locations and situations where Americans feel comfortable using profanity. As it turns out, most are comfortable swearing in public, and 2 in 3 Americans think it’s acceptable.
While Americans are most likely to swear at home (55%), 24% of Americans swear the most when out with friends. Only 7% swear the most when driving, and a similar amount use the most swear words at their workplace. Certain work cultures find swearing more acceptable than others, but most professional language does not include swearing.
We asked Americans to rank their likeliness to swear in certain situations where it’s typically considered inappropriate: at work, in front of strangers, at the dinner table, in front of elders, in front of kids or in front of their boss. Of these, Americans are most likely to swear at work (69%), with residents of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Columbus, Ohio, and Detroit, Michigan, most likely to swear on the job.
A majority of Americans are also likely to swear in front of strangers (67%), at the dinner table (63%), and in front of elders (53%). Fewer are willing to swear in front of kids (48%) or directly in front of their boss (39%).