So, just how sinful is California? In a newly released ranking of states, California is the second most sinful state when it comes to both lust and vanity. Yes, you read that correctly.

Nevada was ranked the No. 1 most sinful state in the nation followed by Texas and Florida.

Why it matters: Every state is known for its own virtues and vices. For example, Michigan has the worst drug use problem. And it certainly comes as no surprise that Nevada is the most gambling-addicted.

But harmful behavior on the individual level can result in staggering economic costs, considering that gambling addiction costs the U.S. $5 billion per year and smoking costs dwarf that with over $300 billion per year.

With Mardi Gras coming up and sure to be full of drinking, drug use and sex, the personal-finance website WalletHub on Feb. 18 released its report on 2020’s Most Sinful States along with its Mardi Gras Facts – Booze, Floats, Money & More infographic.

To determine where the U.S. has the most moral growing to do, WalletHub compared the 50 states based on seven sinful behaviors: anger and hatred, jealousy, excesses and vices, greed, lust, vanity and laziness.

Here are some highlights from the report:

Sinfulness of California (1=Most Sinful; 25=Avg.)

  • 12th – Anger & Hatred
  • 6th – Jealousy
  • 25th – Greed
  • 2nd – Lust
  • 2nd – Vanity
  • 27th – Laziness

The five least sinful states in the nation are New Hampshire, Maine, Idaho, Wyoming, and Vermont.

So, what you might ask makes some states more sinful than others? Laws? Culture?

“To be honest, I have a hard time answering your first question,” Andrei Znamenski
Ph.D., professor, University of Memphis, told WalletHub. “For example, a committed Southern Baptist might think that a state that allows gambling is a sinful state. A committed socialist true believer might say too that it is “sinful” but from another perspective – because, to him/her it is capitalism in its worst. At the same time, a mainstream American left-liberal or a libertarian might say that it is not sinful because gambling generates money for state educational fund. Personally, I believe that gambling should be allowed, although I never gambled in my life, and only once purchased a lottery ticket in 1993.

For the full report, click here. 

Image Sources

  • Sin: Shutterstock