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Lent is here, and once again Christians around the world will dedicate themselves to removing a vice or bad habit from their lives for 40 days. Some states, however, are likely to have an easier time at this than others.
A recent survey by WalletHub ranked the 50 states based on how well they tend to behave. The survey used 43 key indicators of immorality “from violent crimes per capita to excessive drinking to share of the population with gambling disorders.” Some of the results might be surprising.
The award for most sinful state goes to…
It should come as no surprise that Nevada topped the list when it came to overall tendencies to give into vices. The state is, after all, best known for the desert gem that has been appropriately called “Sin City.” Las Vegas unsurprisingly has Nevada not only topping out overall but also dominating when it comes to the amount of greed in the state. Vegas was likely also responsible for making Nevada third in terms of jealousy, fourth when it came to “excesses and vices” and fifth overall when it came to laziness.
The Lusty Lone Star
The high rank of Texas on the list comes as a surprise, and it topped the list in one deadly sin. Surprisingly, that sin was not wrath. The state was actually ranked in the bottom half of states when it came to “anger and hatred.” According to WalletHub, the Lone Star state has a problem with lust. Texas was ranked number one when it came to lust, just above California and, surprisingly, Tennessee.
Mirror, mirror on the wall…
Which state is obsessed with being the fairest of them all? According to WalletHub, the state with the biggest vanity problem is none other than the Big Apple. New York topped out as the vainest state in the Union, beating out both its next door neighbor, New Jersey, and its West Coast rival, California. New York also won the dubious award for the most beauty salons per capita, the highest expenditures per household on personal care products and greatest interest in plastic surgeries such as breast augmentation, liposuction and facelifts.
Cold Hearted Criminals
Most people would expect the unpleasant award for most violent crime to go to a state such as Illinois, where over 550 people were murdered in Chicago in 2018. Ironically, however, the state that wins out for the most violent crimes per capita is actually the frigid state of Alaska. This is likely due, in part, to the fact that Alaska has the third smallest population of any state despite being nearly twice as large as Texas and California combined.
Based on the overall rankings, Vermont is the most virtuous state of them all. The state sat very near the bottom of the list in vanity, laziness and jealousy as well as being the least lustful state. It did, however, break the top 10 when it came to greed.
Every state has its vices and virtues, but it looks like some states may have a harder time keeping Lenten resolutions than others. Who knows. Perhaps some of those vice-filled states will use the Lenten season to turn themselves around rather than going back to their sinful ways as soon as Easter is over.