GREENSBORO, N.C. Local Charlotte News — The home state of Billy Graham has a problem: North Carolinians have embraced some of the seven deadline sins so thoroughly that we are ranked No. 17 on a list of the most sinful states.
WalletHub, a financial company that aggregates data and comes up with all sorts of rankings, has tackled the worst elements of our behavior and found that we have a need for a lot of time sitting in a confessional.
You could guess the states that are atop the list: Nevada, with its gambling and other “stuff;” California, with everything; Texas, with its jealousy and envy; Charlotte and Louisiana. A lot of Southern states are high on the list.
WalletHub created what it called a “vice index” from analysis of these seven, well, sins: anger and hatred, jealousy, excesses and vices, greed, lust, vanity and laziness. This is where we pause to repent.
For North Carolinians, the key factor is greed. We rank 14th nationally among the greediest states. But we also rank 18th for our excesses and vices. Are you starting to feel bad?
The good news is that we aren’t as angry as a lot of people (No. 36), and we are not quite as jealous (No. 23). But that other stuff: North Carolina’s overall score on WalletHub’s Vice Index is 44.76.
If you are curious, Nevada, of course, ranks high on every bad thing, including No. 1 for jealousy and greed. Arkansas ranks as the angriest and most hateful state. Louisiana is No.1 for excesses and vices, just ahead of Ohio. Ohio? Really?
The least sinful states: Idaho, Wyoming, Vermont, South Dakota and Iowa. Maybe the cold keeps people under control.
To arrive at all of this, WalletHub collected 47 metrics, it said, that were divided among those “sins.” Data for crime rates, gambling addiction, smoking rates, excessive drinking, thefts, visits to adult entertainment venues, trips to beauty salons (?) and time NOT spent exercising were aggregated. You get the picture.
Each state was ranked in all those categories, which developed the vice index.
Being a financial enterprise at its heart, WalletHub of course put a dollar figure to all of this. The data cited gambling addiction costing the country $5 billion per year and smoking costing $300 billion.
Janis Rezek, a professor of sociology at West Virginia University, is one of six experts WalletHub used for perspective on its research. She weighed in on a question of what makes some states more sinful than others.
“Sin is not a sociological term,” Rezek said. “Sin implies committing an act that is immoral or against religious tradition.
“A hypothesis I would make is that the states that rate the highest in religiosity would also rate as the most sinful. My thinking on this is that among the groups that adhere to conservative religious standards, there would be many more acts that would be considered sinful.”
There is some good news: No North Carolina city ranks among the top 50 most sinful.
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