Special Report

The Loudest Cities in America

fizkes / iStock via Getty Images

The honking of impatient drivers, the pre-dawn crashing sounds of garbage collection, the hovering of police and news helicopters, the inconsideration of neighbors – lots of stuff contributes to urban noise pollution. Now you can add pickleball to the list.

A recent report from the New York Times says the fastest growing sport in America – an easygoing tennis derivative in which players use hard paddles and a wiffle ball – has become an annoyance to neighbors who complain about the “arrhythmic clatter” emanating from a growing number of U.S. public pickleball courts. The sport’s constant popping sound can measure up to 70 decibels (dBA) at 100 feet away, equivalent to the noise from a vacuum cleaner.

But pickleball remains a marginal source of noise pollution among the U.S. municipalities most affected by the problem. To identify those, 24/7 Tempo reviewed The Loudest Cities in America, a report by Jeff Smith, senior content manager for the retiree lifestyle site Retirement Living

For the report, the 99 most populous U.S. cities were assigned a score based on seven noise-related variables: “noise complaint,” “noise disturbance,” “noise ordinances,” and “noise pollution” (all based on Google search volume), the frequency of car accidents, the concentration of pickleball courts, and the current noise pollution index value from the user-generated online database Numbeo. (Speaking of car accidents, these are America’s worst cities to drive in.)

Because noise pollution is a major cause of sleep deprivation, we added the percentage of adults who reported regular insufficient sleep (fewer than 7 hours of sleep on average) in 2022 from the U.S. Census Bureau’s County Health Rankings and Roadmaps, aggregating the data to the Metropolitan Statistical Area level. (Here’s a list of the states where people are getting the most sleep.)

Click here to see the loudest cities in America

Out of the 30 noisiest cities in the country, six are in Texas and five are in California, while there are three in the New York City metropolitan area. 

In most instances, the loudest cities are among the state’s most populated, but that’s not always the case. For example, Aurora, Colorado is the state’s third most-crowded city and ranks as the 28th noisiest in the country while the larger cities of Denver and Colorado Springs don’t make this list. Also, Tampa is Florida’s third-largest city but is also absent from the list, despite the presence of the state’s other largest cities – Jacksonville, Miami, and Orlando.

30. Charlotte, North Carolina
> Final score: 48.52
> Numbeo noise pollution rank: #29 worst out of 99 US cities
> 2021 car accidents rank: #18 highest out of 99 US cities
> Adults who report regular insufficient sleep: 742,518, or 36.0% – #226 highest out of 362 MSAs

[in-text-ad]

29. Orlando, Florida
> Final score: 48.87
> Numbeo noise pollution rank: #50 worst out of 99 US cities
> 2021 car accidents rank: #34 highest out of 99 US cities
> Adults who report regular insufficient sleep: 824,322, or 39.7% – #75 highest out of 362 MSAs

28. Aurora, Colorado
> Final score: 49.16
> Numbeo noise pollution rank: #13 worst out of 99 US cities
> 2021 car accidents rank: #36 highest out of 99 US cities
> Adults who report regular insufficient sleep: 707,887, or 30.2% – #369 highest out of 362 MSAs

27. Fort Worth, Texas
> Final score: 49.27
> Numbeo noise pollution rank: #19 worst out of 99 US cities
> 2021 car accidents rank: #14 highest out of 99 US cities
> Adults who report regular insufficient sleep: 2,006,988, or 35.0% – #258 highest out of 362 MSAs

[in-text-ad-2]

26. Baltimore, Maryland
> Final score: 49.41
> Numbeo noise pollution rank: #18 worst out of 99 US cities
> 2021 car accidents rank: #40 highest out of 99 US cities
> Adults who report regular insufficient sleep: 831,448, or 38.0% – #155 highest out of 362 MSAs

25. San Antonio, Texas
> Final score: 49.53
> Numbeo noise pollution rank: #41 worst out of 99 US cities
> 2021 car accidents rank: #7 highest out of 99 US cities
> Adults who report regular insufficient sleep: 716,573, or 36.7% – #201 highest out of 362 MSAs

[in-text-ad]

24. Washington, D.C.
> Final score: 49.59
> Numbeo noise pollution rank: #27 worst out of 99 US cities
> 2021 car accidents rank: #32 highest out of 99 US cities
> Adults who report regular insufficient sleep: 1,826,987, or 37.4% – #175 highest out of 362 MSAs

23. Atlanta, Georgia
> Final score: 49.65
> Numbeo noise pollution rank: #61 worst out of 99 US cities
> 2021 car accidents rank: #20 highest out of 99 US cities
> Adults who report regular insufficient sleep: 1,765,726, or 38.1% – #145 highest out of 362 MSAs

22. St. Louis, Missouri
> Final score: 49.77
> Numbeo noise pollution rank: #22 worst out of 99 US cities
> 2021 car accidents rank: #29 highest out of 99 US cities
> Adults who report regular insufficient sleep: 767,944, or 35.0% – #256 highest out of 362 MSAs

[in-text-ad-2]

21. Fresno, California
> Final score: 50.2
> Numbeo noise pollution rank: #9 worst out of 99 US cities
> 2021 car accidents rank: #24 highest out of 99 US cities
> Adults who report regular insufficient sleep: 273,318, or 38.0% – #154 highest out of 362 MSAs

20. Arlington, Texas
> Final score: 50.83
> Numbeo noise pollution rank: #35 worst out of 99 US cities
> 2021 car accidents rank: #33 highest out of 99 US cities
> Adults who report regular insufficient sleep: 1,826,987, or 37.4% – #175 highest out of 362 MSAs

[in-text-ad]

19. Seattle, Washington
> Final score: 50.86
> Numbeo noise pollution rank: #23 worst out of 99 US cities
> 2021 car accidents rank: #38 highest out of 99 US cities
> Adults who report regular insufficient sleep: 1,025,642, or 32.3% – #338 highest out of 362 MSAs

18. Miami, Florida
> Final score: 51.24
> Numbeo noise pollution rank: #33 worst out of 99 US cities
> 2021 car accidents rank: #26 highest out of 99 US cities
> Adults who report regular insufficient sleep: 1,938,054, or 39.3% – #91 highest out of 362 MSAs

17. Austin, Texas
> Final score: 52.62
> Numbeo noise pollution rank: #13 worst out of 99 US cities
> 2021 car accidents rank: #16 highest out of 99 US cities
> Adults who report regular insufficient sleep: 590,511, or 33.1% – #312 highest out of 362 MSAs

[in-text-ad-2]

16. Jacksonville, Florida
> Final score: 52.72
> Numbeo noise pollution rank: #28 worst out of 99 US cities
> 2021 car accidents rank: #9 highest out of 99 US cities
> Adults who report regular insufficient sleep: 482,194, or 39.0% – #105 highest out of 362 MSAs

15. San Francisco, California
> Final score: 53.44
> Numbeo noise pollution rank: #8 worst out of 99 US cities
> 2021 car accidents rank: #48 highest out of 99 US cities
> Adults who report regular insufficient sleep: 1,228,675, or 32.4% – #336 highest out of 362 MSAs

[in-text-ad]

14. Detroit, Michigan
> Final score: 53.59
> Numbeo noise pollution rank: #12 worst out of 99 US cities
> 2021 car accidents rank: #10 highest out of 99 US cities
> Adults who report regular insufficient sleep: 1,361,935, or 40.4% – #54 highest out of 362 MSAs

13. Dallas, Texas
> Final score: 54.02
> Numbeo noise pollution rank: #44 worst out of 99 US cities
> 2021 car accidents rank: #6 highest out of 99 US cities
> Adults who report regular insufficient sleep: 2,006,988, or 35.0% – #258 highest out of 362 MSAs

12. Norfolk, Virginia
> Final score: 54.36
> Numbeo noise pollution rank: #3 worst out of 99 US cities
> 2021 car accidents rank: #51 highest out of 99 US cities
> Adults who report regular insufficient sleep: 557,818, or 40.1% – #64 highest out of 362 MSAs

[in-text-ad-2]

11. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
> Final score: 54.49
> Numbeo noise pollution rank: #11 worst out of 99 US cities
> 2021 car accidents rank: #12 highest out of 99 US cities
> Adults who report regular insufficient sleep: 1,897,151, or 39.5% – #77 highest out of 362 MSAs

10. Jersey City, New Jersey
> Final score: 56.84
> Numbeo noise pollution rank: #5 worst out of 99 US cities
> 2021 car accidents rank: #62 highest out of 99 US cities
> Adults who report regular insufficient sleep: 5,867,616, or 39.0% – #110 highest out of 362 MSAs

[in-text-ad]

9. Santa Ana, California
> Final score: 57.28
> Numbeo noise pollution rank: #5 worst out of 99 US cities
> 2021 car accidents rank: #54 highest out of 99 US cities
> Adults who report regular insufficient sleep: #N/A, or #N/A – ##N/A highest out of 362 MSAs

8. Anaheim, California
> Final score: 58.97
> Numbeo noise pollution rank: #2 worst out of 99 US cities
> 2021 car accidents rank: #54 highest out of 99 US cities
> Adults who report regular insufficient sleep: 3,716,187, or 36.0% – #227 highest out of 362 MSAs

7. Chicago, Illinois
> Final score: 59.27
> Numbeo noise pollution rank: #17 worst out of 99 US cities
> 2021 car accidents rank: #4 highest out of 99 US cities
> Adults who report regular insufficient sleep: 2,565,137, or 35.1% – #254 highest out of 362 MSAs

[in-text-ad-2]

6. Newark, New Jersey
> Final score: 60.6
> Numbeo noise pollution rank: #1 worst out of 99 US cities
> 2021 car accidents rank: #35 highest out of 99 US cities
> Adults who report regular insufficient sleep: 5,867,616, or 39.0% – #110 highest out of 362 MSAs

5. Memphis, Tennessee
> Final score: 61.48
> Numbeo noise pollution rank: #6 worst out of 99 US cities
> 2021 car accidents rank: #5 highest out of 99 US cities
> Adults who report regular insufficient sleep: 444,340, or 43.7% – #3 highest out of 362 MSAs

[in-text-ad]

4. Phoenix, Arizona
> Final score: 62.94
> Numbeo noise pollution rank: #21 worst out of 99 US cities
> 2021 car accidents rank: #3 highest out of 99 US cities
> Adults who report regular insufficient sleep: 1,381,085, or 35.4% – #240 highest out of 362 MSAs

3. New York, New York
> Final score: 64.82
> Numbeo noise pollution rank: #4 worst out of 99 US cities
> 2021 car accidents rank: #8 highest out of 99 US cities
> Adults who report regular insufficient sleep: 5,867,616, or 39.0% – #110 highest out of 362 MSAs

2. Houston, Texas
> Final score: 65.27
> Numbeo noise pollution rank: #20 worst out of 99 US cities
> 2021 car accidents rank: #1 highest out of 99 US cities
> Adults who report regular insufficient sleep: 1,969,123, or 37.3% – #178 highest out of 362 MSAs

[in-text-ad-2]

1. Los Angeles, California
> Final score: 76.34
> Numbeo noise pollution rank: #7 worst out of 99 US cities
> 2021 car accidents rank: #2 highest out of 99 US cities
> Adults who report regular insufficient sleep: 3,716,187, or 36.0% – #227 highest out of 362 MSAs

URGENT – New Seats Available (sponsored)

Top financial advisors are now accepting new clients for 2024! Finding the right advisor can be the difference between retiring early, or working forever. Don’t waste a moment matching with the right advisor for you. Every moment today can mean riches tomorrow, with the right advisor by your side.

Use the advisor match tool below, or click here now, to find your financial freedom!

Thank you for reading! Have some feedback for us?
Contact the 24/7 Wall St. editorial team.