Most Sinful Cities in America

New Orleans


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New Orleans

Sin Central

While Las Vegas is legendary for all things sinful and scandalous, it’s not the only place in America where people indulge their wilder sides. “From beer-loving Milwaukee to hedonistic New Orleans, the U.S. is filled with people behaving illicitly. No place is innocent,” says a WalletHub study, which ranks more than 180 of the most sinful cities across America based on factors you may recognize as the seven deadly sins: anger and hatred; jealousy; excesses and vices; greed; lust; vanity; and laziness. (In excesses and vices, the score includes a city’s share of obese adults; fast food establishments per capita; DUI fatalities; marijuana use; overdose deaths, debt-to-income ratio, and more.) Curious whether your city made the top 20?

Related: The Best and Worst Cities for a Healthy Lifestyle

Kansas City Missouri Lake Skyline

20. Kansas City, Missouri

Anger and Hatred Rank: 2

The worst score for this city in WalletHub’s study comes in the anger and hatred ranking — Kansas City is No. 2 in the nation — which means violent crime. 

Related: The Most Beautiful Main Streets in Every State

North Las Vegas
North Las Vegas by Andrew (CC BY-ND)

18. Miami, Florida

Jealousy Rank: 15

Miami lands among the 20 worst in several of the sinful habits measured by WalletHub. It is No. 15 for jealousy crimes and No. 20 for lust. With its reputation for skin and sun-soaked excess, it’s no stretch to find The Magic City on this list. It literally had a police show named after it: “Miami Vice.”

Dallas Skyline Aerial
Art Wager/istockphoto

17. Dallas

Lust Rank: 8

Dallas is certainly no stranger to sinful fun. The lust score includes such factors as adult entertainment establishments per capita, most active Tinder users, and certain not-safe-for-work Google searches.

Downtown San Bernardino, California

16. San Bernardino, California

Anger and Hatred Rank:15

It may be in Southern California, but that doesn't mean San Bernardino isn't a warm-weather paradise. While San Bernardino scored pretty high for anger and hatred, it also scored high for lust — No.10.

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new york

15. New York

Anger and Hatred Rank: 38

The Big Apple may be a little rotten, unfortunately. New York didn't come in at the top of many rankings, but it did score No. 4 for lust.

Panorama of Memphis Skyline

14. Memphis, Tennessee

Jealousy Rank: 1

Memphis is something of a mixed bag. Though it came in at the top for jealousy, any bad reputation is by far overshadowed by its renown as a mecca for music and barbecue.

Downtown Baltimore, Maryland
Jon Bilous/istockphoto

13. Baltimore

Excesses and Vices Rank: 15

Baltimore tied for first place for most violent crimes with Birmingham, Alabama; Detroit; St. Louis, Missouri and Memphis, Tennessee. But it’s the only place that provided the setting for five seasons of the television crime drama “The Wire.” And while it’s marketed as Charm City, in the past it’s had less PR-friendly nicknames: Mob Town and Syphilis City.

French Quarter, New Orleans

12. New Orleans

Anger and Hatred Rank: 5

The Big Easy apparently has a lot of negativity brewing beneath the surface. It's also ranked No.11 for jealousy and No. 12 for excesses and vices.

Cleveland, Ohio

11. Cleveland

Excesses and Vices Rank: 8

Cleveland ties a handful of other cities for most violent crimes and comes in at No. 7 on the anger and hatred rank. That category includes some dark stuff: sex offenders per capita; aggravated assault offenses per 1,000 residents; bullying rates; hate-crime incidents and hate groups; deaths due to firearms; and the presence of terrorist attacks.

Phoenix, Arizona skyline at dusk

10. Phoenix, Arizona

Anger and Hatred Rank: 54

If you think Phoenix is just a quiet place to retire, think again. It's tied for first for most tanning beds per capita with Scottsdale, Arizona and Las Vegas, Nevada.

Aerial photo Downtown Baton Rouge Louisiana USA

9. Baton Rouge, Louisiana

Jealousy Rank: 3

While it's hard to believe this Louisiana city outranks New Orleans for sinfulness, it turns out there's plenty of reasons for Baton Rouge to hopscotch past the more famously decadent city. In addition to ranking third for jealousy, the city is No. 8 for anger and hatred and No. 9 for excesses and vices. 

Chicago CTA Elevated Train Downtown Urban Buildings

8. Chicago

Anger and Hatred Rank: 16

The Windy City is famous for being a hub of mafia culture, and that's not the only trouble is gets into. The city is ranked No. 13 for jealousy and No. 15 for lust.

Denver Colorado skyscrapers snowy Longs Peak Rocky Mountains summer

7. Denver

Excesses and Vices Rank: 41

Excess and vice are hardly Denver’s biggest challenges. The city is No. 17 out of more than 180 for anger and hatred and No. 16 for jealousy.

Walk of fame - Hollywood Boulevard in Los Angeles

6. Los Angeles

Lust Rank: 2

It should come as no surprise that the home of Hollywood ranks highly in the lust category. More surprising is that the city comes in No. 25 for anger and hatred.

Atlanta, Georgia Skyline

5. Atlanta

Excesses and Vices Rank: 84

While the "Real Housewives of Atlanta" may be your first clue, this city is overheated in two categories. It comes in No. 2 for jealousy and No. 1 for lust. 

Houston, Texas, USA
Sean Pavone/istockphoto

4. Houston

Excesses and Vices Rank: 149

While this Texas city isn't at the top of the rankings in every category, it makes a big showing in to categories. Houston ranks No. 6 in jealousy and No. 3 in lust. The Bayou City — the largest in the United States by total area — has an active port and several colleges and universities, and a music scene with a history of mixing cough syrup with beer or wine coolers recreationally that’s earned it another name: City of Syrup.

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA at Benjamin Franklin Parkway
Sean Pavone/istockphoto

3. Philadelphia

Excesses and Vices Rank: 38 

The home of the Liberty Bell and plenty of scenes in "Hamilton" is pretty sinful, too. Philly is ranked No. 9 for anger and hatred, No. 6 for lust, and No. 14 for jealousy.

Downtown Streets of St Louis, Missouri

2. St. Louis

Excesses and Vices Rank: 1

St. Louis really needs to get itself to a therapist. The city ranks No. 1 for anger and hatred, and No. 1 for excess and vice. If all of that is not enough, it also ties for No. 1 for most violent crimes per capita and most thefts per capita.

Related: The 20 Safest Big Cities in the U.S.

Las Vegas Fremont Street

1. Las Vegas

Excesses and Vices Rank: 87

Finally, the city that turned sin into a weekend getaway. It’s hardly shocking that Las Vegas tops this WalletHub ranking, though ranking as low as 87th for excess and vice is surprising considering an economy based in large part on activities such as gambling and strip clubs. Sin City holds its own in other categories, though: It ranks No. 2 for greed and No. 5  for lust. 

Related: 20 Rat Pack Haunts You Can Still Visit in Las Vegas and Beyond