Using factors like strip clubs per capita for lust, violent crime rate for wrath and cosmetic surgeons per capita for pride, these are the most sinful American cities.
My friends (they’re officially my friends because they call me by name and wouldn’t necessarily offer to help me move but would ask me “how’s the new place?” after I moved) at the real estate blog Movoto.com sent me their research on this topic and I dug it.
They came up with a pretty clever methodology to figure out the most sinful U.S. cities. They took a statistic that corresponds to each of the original seven deadly sins (which you know from hellfire-and-brimstone pop theology or, more likely, Seven) and ranked the 95 largest U.S. cities in each of those categories. The 11 cities with the most sinful average rankings made this list.
The seven criteria are:
(1) Strip clubs per capita for lust
(2) Cosmetic surgeons per capita for pride
(3) Violent crime rates for wrath
(4) Theft rates for envy
(5) Charitable giving rates for greed
(6) Obesity rates for gluttony
(7) Physical inactivity rates for sloth.
For the last one, I’m sure they debated whether or not it would be funnier just to do it based on the estimated sloth population. I would’ve pushed for that in the meeting.
So, based on those seven categories, here are the 11 U.S. cities most guilty of the seven deadly sins. If the Rapture comes, better hope you’re not in Missouri. (Except for Branson, which will most definitely be called up to heaven whole hog.)
11 | Kansas City, Missouri
I’m just spitballing here because Kansas City didn’t top out on any categories, but there must be some kind of sinful undercurrent flowing through this place. And I’m thinking it’s because, for a seemingly innocuous Midwestern city, this place has a lot of rivalries. They have a prideful rivalry with North Carolina over the gluttony of barbecue food. They have an envious rivalry with Rome over which city has more/better fountains. (No one said these were thrilling rivalries.) They have a greedy rivalry with Kansas City, Kansas over which Kansas City should get all the Kansas City notoriety. And they have a wrathful rivalry with Oakland over both football and (believe it or not) rap music. If you have beef with Bo Jackson, E-40, the Trevi fountain AND unrubbed ribs, there’s got to be some sinning afoot.
10 | Las Vegas, Nevada
For a city whose branding is based entirely around being “Sin City,” this has to be a disappointing finish. They did rank first in the lust category with strip clubs per capita. But other sinful areas where they dominate — like gambling accessibility, proliferation of small-time hustlers, access to nearby counties with brothels, and total Rainforest Cafes per capita — didn’t factor into this list. Therefore, 10th place.
9 | Detroit, Michigan
Any list that rains shit on American cities always makes sure to take a few moments to rain shit on Detroit, and this list is no exception. Detroit is the top — or bottom, depending on how you look at it — city in violent crime rate (wrath) and obesity rate (gluttony). On the other hand, it finished at the bottom — or top, depending on how you look at it — in charitable donations (greed), with Detroit residents giving more of their income to charity than the people of any other major city. Apparently it’s a city full of really chunky Robin Hood impersonators.
8 | Buffalo, New York
Sure, it’s eighth now, but you know it’s one more Attica or post-Super Bowl loss riot away from making some serious moves upward.
7 | Miami, Florida
Miami’s strongest sinful category is pride, with a ton of cosmetic surgeons. Although, if TV is telling the truth, it’s also the home of a lot of sexy, over-the-top crimes that can only be solved with mad science and sunglass removal-worthy one-liners.
[Very brief tangent: Could a ginger really handle the Miami weather without burning up? What SPF do you think he’d have to use? Wouldn’t he be better suited for a different climate?]
[Very brief tangent #2: I think I’ve grown because a few years ago, I absolutely would’ve used this moment to go on a rant about how LeBron’s greed and pride drove Miami up the list. Now I only mention that I would’ve said that. Growth.]
6 | Cincinnati, Ohio
More like Sinsinnati, Ohio, am I right, folks?
OK. That’s a bridge too far, even for me.
5 | Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Milwaukee finished fifth thanks to its expected domination in both sloth and gluttony. But in Milwaukee’s defense, have you ever had their cheese curds? They really do make you want to gain 50 pounds and curl up on the couch for 20, maybe 30 years.
4 | Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
You might be able to singlehandedly trace this ranking back to the day Ben Roethlisberger arrived in town.
3 | Minneapolis, Minnesota
It’s strange that Minneapolis is this high because it prides itself on being a non-sinful place; kind of a “Salt Lake City minus the Mormons” vibe.
Instead, Minneapolis really diversified its sins to rank this high. It ranked in the top three in physical inactivity (sloth) and the top 10 in strip clubs per capita (lust). So a lot of mobility scooter rides to gentlemen’s clubs, then?
2 | Orlando, Florida
It didn’t finish first, but there’s already been a *ton* of foreshadowing that it’s gonna be the first city on this list to get swallowed in its entirety by a sinkhole. (I really have to make a pilgrimage to that new Simpsons theme park before it does.)
1 | St. Louis, Missouri
It ranked second in violent crime, theft and physical inactivity, but first in the presence of St. Lunatics.