A few months ago, we posted a handy equation to help you figure out how white trash your city is
. We didn’t want to overlook all the ghetto cities out there, though, so we came up with The Ghetto Formula
, to help you determine how ghetto your city is:
It’s important that ghetto stats for all test cities be collected from the same sources, in order to maintain some level of consistency:
# of Cash Advance Stores
This should be obtained from a Google Maps search of "Cash Advance", along with your zip code. Then scroll to the bottom of the results column and use the total number of search results, which will be a grey number that says "(#) Results".
# of Long John Silver’s Restaurants
Utilize the same technique used above. Search Google Maps for "Long John Silvers" and your zip code, and use the Total Search results number, located at the bottom of the results column.
# of Government Housing Projects
Do a Google Maps search of "Government Housing" with your zip code, then use the Total Search results number, located at the bottom of the results column.
# of Pawn Shops
To find the number of Pawn Shops in your town, use the pawn shop locator
, which can be found here
. Type in your zip code, and use the total results number.
# of Car Thefts per Year
This number can be obtained from crime statistics, which can be found here
. Find your city on the list, double click, then locate the car thefts statistics
that the site provides.
Population is probably the most important ghetto stat in the entire formula, because a city’s true ghetto-ness must be determined on a per capita basis. Pull population statistics from Wikipedia by searching the city name, and then using the "Population of Metro Area" number, located in the right-hand column of the page.
Preliminary testing lists our test cities, from least-ghetto to most-ghetto, in this order: Bismark, Portland, St. Louis, Baltimore, Phoenix, Memphis. The formula seems to yield some degree of accuracy. Bismark is not all that ghetto, and neither is Portland. Phoenix and Memphis, on the other hand, are incredibly ghetto. There are a few variables that came into play, and may have skewed our results slightly:
St. Louis is pretty ghetto, and we would’ve expected it to score higher. However, according to our data sources, St. Louis does not have many government housing developments or cash advance places. This can likely be blamed on semantics. It’s possible that St. Louis does have housing projects, but maybe they call them something different. Hell, they put weird cheese on their pizza there, so who knows what else is f*cked up about St. Louis?
Phoenix boasts the highest car-theft rate in the country. This is most probably because it’s so close to the Mexican border, and it’s so boring that people will do anything to get a way out of Phoenix. This grotesquely high number of car thefts may likely have contributed to Phoenix’s inaccurate placement above Baltimore, because Baltimore is pretty ghetto. Haven’t you seen The Wire? Geeze.
The Ghetto Formula seems to work in a general way, but it can easily be thrown off by fairly simple obstacles (i.e. – the regionality of Long John Silver’s, regional semantics re: government housing projects and cash advance stores). Accuracy could be improved by adding more ghetto stats such as furniture places, liquor stores, burglaries per year, etc.
Just for fun, we’ve decided to apply the Ghetto Formula to Calgary and London, to see how it holds up on an international level:
As you can see, many elements of the Ghetto Formula are less applicable internationally. For example, there are no Cash Advance places or Long John Silver’s outside of the U.S. (sucks for you, The Rest of the World!). Also, government housing projects probably have a different name in Canada and England. It’s probably something wacky too, like "the Queen’s Bum Huts"
or something. The results are clearly less accurate, but this still seems generally reflective of the ghetto-ness of Calgary and London. It’s also important to note that, while London’s ghetto stats are all very high, its equally large population helps to lower its overall score. See, London? Having a city that’s more crowded than an Asian water park does have its advantages after all.
More testing of both U.S. and International cities is required. New ghetto stats should also be pursued.