The Most Sinful Cities in the U.S.

Everyone has their vices. Some cities more than others. Crime and violence is always a concern in cities. Addiction is a costly and serious problem in the U.S., whether it is alcohol, smoking, gambling, sex, opioids or other drugs.

It may not surprise you that Las Vegas tops the list of sinful cities overall, based on a study by personal finance site WalletHub. They compared more than 180 U.S. cities across 37 indicators. The data set ranges from violent crimes per capita to excessive drinking to adult entertainment establishments per capita.

While the vices of Vegas may not raise an eyebrow, a few other interesting facts rise to the top. The city of Worcester, Mass. turns out to have the lowest charitable donations as a percent of income of all of the cities. Madison, Wis. takes the prize for most excessive drinking, and Huntington, W.V., for the least excessive drinking.

The city that comes out the cleanest is Burlington, Vt. But they probably have their fun, too.

Based on WalletHub's data, these are the most sinful cities in the U.S, broken down by the various transgressions.

Vices Overall: The Most Sinful Cities
Vices Overall: The Most Sinful Cities

Vices Overall: The Most Sinful Cities

The overall rankings of the cities were based on 37 metrics, which we'll detail as we break the list down, sin by sin. They include anger and hatred, jealousy, excesses and vices, greed, lust, vanity and laziness.

1. Las Vegas

Las Vegas takes the lead for the various sins combined, out of 182 cities compared.

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2. Los Angeles
2. Los Angeles

2. Los Angeles (Overall)

L.A. is No. 2 overall.

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3. New York
3. New York

3. New York (Overall)

Photo: Paolo Bona / Shutterstock

4. Houston
4. Houston

4. Houston (Overall)

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Sin by Sin: Anger and Hatred
Sin by Sin: Anger and Hatred

Sin by Sin: Anger and Hatred

These four cities scored the highest in areas including violent crime, sex offenders, bullying, hate crimes, deaths by firearms, mass shootings, terrorist attacks and the number of hate groups per capita.

1. St. Louis

St. Louis had the most violent crimes per capita.

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2. Detroit
2. Detroit

2. Detroit (Anger and Hatred)

Detroit also ranks No. 2 specifically for violent crimes per capita. It is 12th overall.

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3. Baton Rouge, La.
3. Baton Rouge, La.

3. Baton Rouge, La. (Anger and Hatred)

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4. Washington, D.C.
4. Washington, D.C.

4. Washington, D.C. (Anger and Hatred)

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Sin by Sin: Jealousy
Sin by Sin: Jealousy

Sin by Sin: Jealousy

How do you quantify jealousy? Maybe you can't - envy might be a better word. This category includes per-capita theft, identity theft, and fraud.

1. Fort Lauderdale, Fla.

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2. Atlanta
2. Atlanta

2. Atlanta (Jealousy)

No. 2 for jealousy, Atlanta also ranked sixth overall, fourth for "lust" and seventh for "vanity."

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3. Detroit
3. Detroit

3. Detroit (Jealousy)

Besides jealousy, the city also ranked among the highest for violent crimes, but among the lowest in the vanity category: Detroit is among the cities with the fewest tanning salons.

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4. Miami
4. Miami

4. Miami (Jealousy)

The Florida city also ranked high for vanity and laziness.

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Sin by Sin: Excess and Vices
Sin by Sin: Excess and Vices

Sin by Sin: Excess and Vices

This category is a big one, it includes: excess drinking, rates of smoking, coffee drinking, marijuana use, opioid prescriptions, obesity, the number of DUI-related fatalities, fast food joints, and the debt-to-income ratio.

1. St. Louis

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2. Cincinnati
2. Cincinnati

2. Cincinnati (Excess and Vices)

The Queen City ranked No. 22 overall.

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3. Jacksonville, Fla.
3. Jacksonville, Fla.

3. Jacksonville, Fla. (Excess and Vices)

Jacksonville ranked No. 33 overall, but was in the top 10 of least greedy cities.

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4. New Orleans
4. New Orleans

4. New Orleans (Excess and Vices)

New Orleans ranked No. 19 overall.

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Sin by Sin: Greed
Sin by Sin: Greed

Sin by Sin: Greed 

This category scores each city by the number of casinos per capita, the share of adults with a gambling disorder, and charitable donations as a share of income.

1. Gulfport, Miss.

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2. Reno, Nev.
2. Reno, Nev.

2. Reno, Nev. (Greed)

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3. Billings, Mont., and Missoula Mont. (tie)
3. Billings, Mont., and Missoula Mont. (tie)

3. Billings, Mont., and Missoula Mont. (Tie-Greed)

Missoula, above, also ranked as No. 3 for excessive drinking. The two Montana cities are about 345 miles apart.

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4. Las Vegas, North Las Vegas and Henderson, Nev. (tie)
4. Las Vegas, North Las Vegas and Henderson, Nev. (tie)

4. Las Vegas, North Las Vegas and Henderson, Nev. (Tie-Greed)

The three cities are part of the same metro area, but were ranked individually, and tied for fourth in the "greed" category.

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Sin by Sin: Lust
Sin by Sin: Lust

Sin by Sin: Lust

In the lust category, cities were scored on the number of adult entertainment establishments, Google searches for porn, most active Tinder users, and teen birth rate.

1. Los Angeles

Los Angeles also has the distinction of ranking No. 2 overall and No. 1 for vanity.

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2. Houston
2. Houston

2. Houston (Lust)

Houston ranks No. 4 overall.

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3. New York
3. New York

3. New York (Lust)

The Big Apple also ranks No. 3 overall.

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4. Atlanta
4. Atlanta

4. Atlanta (Lust)

Atlanta tied for first place with Las Vegas, Portland, Ore. and Tampa Fla. for having the most adult entertainment establishments per capita.

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Sin by Sin: Vanity
Sin by Sin: Vanity

Sin by Sin: Vanity

The number of beauty salons, tanning salons, and Google search interest index for 'top 5 plastic surgeons' were the criteria for vanity.

1. Los Angeles

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2. New York
2. New York

2. New York (Vanity)

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3. San Diego
3. San Diego

3. San Diego (Vanity)

San Diego ranked No. 31 overall. It ties with two other sunny cities - Las Vegas and Scottsdale, Ariz. - for having the most tanning salons per capita.

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4. Las Vegas
4. Las Vegas

4. Las Vegas (Vanity)

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Sin by Sin: Laziness
Sin by Sin: Laziness

Sin by Sin: Laziness

Laziness was scored on the share of people not exercising, average weekly hours worked, the volunteer rate, time spent watching TV, high school dropout rate and disconnected youth (those age 16-24 who are neither in school nor working.) 

1. North Las Vegas

As its name implies, North Las Vegas is just north of downtown Las Vegas. It is an incorporated city and part of the metropolitan area.

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2. Hialeah Fla.
2. Hialeah Fla.

2. Hialeah Fla. (Laziness)

Hialeah is just south of Fort Lauderdale, Fla.

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3. Las Vegas
3. Las Vegas

3. Las Vegas (Laziness)

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4. Miami
4. Miami

4. Miami (Laziness)

Visit WalletHub to see the rankings of all 182 cities, as well as their full methodology.

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