The Most Sinful City in the U.S. Is … (Hint: It’s Not Vegas)

Find out how major cities rank according to their residents’ indulgence in the in the seven deadly sins. Is your hometown among the decadent or the clean-living?

When people talk about “Sin City” in the United States, they’re most likely referring to Las Vegas. But a new study says America’s most sinful city is known by a different nickname: The Big Easy (or the City That Care Forgot, or the Crescent City).

Online real estate site Trulia recently ranked major U.S. cities based on the seven deadly sins, also called the cardinal sins. According to Trulia, New Orleans is America’s true “Sin City” while Provo, Utah, is the nation’s most saintly city.

Here’s how Trulia measured each city’s sinfulness:

  • Lust: Number of adult entertainment venues
  • Gluttony: Rates of obesity, binge drinking and smoking
  • Greed: Number of racing and gambling venues and residents’ reported charitable donations
  • Sloth: Number of residents who have not exercised in 30 days
  • Wrath: Per capita violent crime
  • Envy: Inequality in home prices
  • Vanity: Number of beauty and tanning salons and plastic surgery offices

“With nearly three times the national rate of adult entertainment establishments and twice the number gambling establishments per household, [New Orleans] scores highly in lust and greed,” Trulia explains. “Additionally, above-average rates of smoking, binge- and heavy-drinking and obesity, as well as high incidents of violent crime make the Crescent City a great place for those looking to explore gluttony and wrath.”

According to Trulia, these are the 10 most “sinful” cities in the country:

  1. New Orleans, Louisiana
  2. Atlantic City, New Jersey
  3. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
  4. Tampa, Florida
  5. Toledo, Ohio
  6. Louisville, Kentucky
  7. Shreveport, Louisiana
  8. Las Vegas, Nevada
  9. San Antonio, Texas
  10. Columbus, Ohio

On the other hand, these are America’s most “saintly” cities (those that scored as the least sinful):

  1. Provo-Orem, Utah
  2. Ogden-Clearfield, Utah
  3. Fort Collins, Colorado
  4. Tuscaloosa, Alabama
  5. Raleigh, North Carolina
  6. Claremont, New Hampshire-Lebanon, Vermont
  7. Boise, Idaho
  8. Asheville, North Carolina
  9. Greeley, Colorado
  10. Cambridge, Massachusetts

Did your city show up on Trulia’s sinful or saintly list? What do you think about the rankings? Sound off below or on our Facebook page.

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  • mremale

    Lebanon is actually in NH, not Vermont. But it is just across the river.

    • bigpinch

      Reminds me of the old joke, “A bus load of (one ethnic group) and a bus load of (another ethnic group) run off a cliff at the same time. Which one hits the ground first? Punch line: Who cares?”

      • Anyone that laughs at that joke confirms their lack of brotherly love.

    • I think it was supposed to say “Claremont-Lebanon, NH-VT.”

  • LagunaLady27

    I thought no one remembered the Seven Deadly Sins, since they seem to be so commonplace now. Too bad our society no longer treats them as things to be avoided.

    • penny

      I think society has figured out they won’t be struck by lightening if they indulge in these so-called sins….but what I’d like to know is the relationship between these numbers and the happiness quotient of the residents. Are the sinners as happy as the saints? I have seen articles on the cities abroad and remember seeing that Danish people were some of the happiest in the world and one of their secrets is that they don’t really expect much. Not that they don’t have much, they just don’t feel bad if they don’t get things they want the way many other societies do. Low expectations = happiness….who knew?

      • bigpinch

        “Low expectations = happiness.” That’s been the Obama administration’s domestic policy all along. “Stop Complaining!” — The Big B.O.

        • Vito V

          Does everything need to be politicized? Even this?

          • Politicization is in the mind of the politicized.

          • bigpinch

            Don’t let me tell you anything new but outside of your relationship with your mother and Jesus Christ, everything is political. “From the Greek: πολιτικός politikos, definition “of, for, or relating to citizens”) Wikipedia

      • LagunaLady27

        Gluttony does not make people happy. It makes them obese and sick. Same with many of the other listed “sins”.

        In Denmark people are happy because they have their health care covered by their taxes. They have maternity leave, free tuition for college, all the things that are not covered here and make people miserable.

      • Bendy Bentley

        Shreveport was recently ranked #1 happiest in the United States, so there may be some happy sinners here. And, we sure dont expect much around here!

        • ab


      • Casey William Walker

        Search “Everyone Is A Sinner But Me” on Facebook and Amazon. You will thank me later 😉


    interesting…this information & maybe a dollar will get you a shake at the local hamburger joint. :-)

    • bigpinch

      Sorry. With QE2, those shakes are at least $1.35.

  • Elliot J. Stamler

    The sinful cities are much larger and more populous than the saintly ones and that will increase the amount of “sin” therein for a multitude of reasons. Utah is a beautiful state with nice people but its saintliness is because of the Mormon control of government and the concomitant belief that government should, and in Utah does, enact criminal laws against activity which it deems sinful rather than SOLELY harmful.

    • Which explains the high murder rate in Salt Lake City.

      • Robert Wilson

        And high drug rate.

        • Actually, most Mormon strongholds have much lower illicit drug use than other places, because more of the people are high on superstitious beliefs than chemicals.

    • Casey William Walker

      hit it right on the nose! Go check out “Everyone Is A Sinner But Me” on FB and amazon to know more about Provo ut.

  • disqus_7uLMRvnWRt

    Tuscaloosa, Alabama
    a saintly city? Obviously, you’ve never been to a Bama home game! ROLL TIDE!!!

  • trudatness

    Those who know Tampa are not surprised

    • Robert Wilson

      Tampa, The Mons, FL has worked hard for a higher rating than that and over a long period of time. You can’t take Trulia or it’s findings seriously and it was previously designated an All-American City to show it has something for everyone.

  • wrwnc

    Asheville? Beer City? The home of “Keep Asheville Weird?” Eighth most saintly? Perish the thought.

  • It is interesting that there are two cities in two of the states on both lists.

  • Rico Alexander

    Can I get a breakdown on the lust numbers. Uhhhhh… for research.

  • ponce

    If you’re looking for a place with some deadly sins, Detroit has to be ranked right up there. Theft and murder are still sins aren’t they?

  • BJ

    So, why is obesity a classification on here? That has nothing to do with anything. I’d be interested if this stat were left out what the results would be.

    • rebecca

      Because they made it all up!

    • They used obesity rates as a way to measure gluttony, the sin of overindulgence (particularly in food and drink).

  • rebecca

    In this ranking of NOLA…..One MUST consider the TOURISTS who come here daily and do things they would NEVER do in their home towns…..NOW apply those 7 sins to the Administrations of the past 40 years and you got me…..!

  • rebecca

    This article didnt exactly use the REAL definitions of the 7 D Sins..redefining then making a poll and who did they ask…..ahhhhh the internet when everything it the TRUTH! This article should have a caveat……bent to make a headline!

    The Seven Deadly Sins

    Seven things that are considered the worst things to do.

    1. Greed – Wanting too much of something.

    2. Gluttony – Similar to greed, but gluttony is the action of taking too much of something in.

    3. Lust – The need to fulfill unspiritual desires (not just sexual desires, but this is usually what lust is associated with.)

    4. Envy – Jealousy; wanting to have what someone has.

    5. Sloth – Being too slow or lazy at doing something.

    6. Wrath – Vindictive anger; angry revenge.

    7. Pride – Being too self-satisfied

    some other people may say that the seventh deadly sin is anger but this is not true; its pride.

    The Seven Deadly Sins were first introduced by the Catholic church

    by i. m. wright October 07, 2008

    • Anger is already represented on the list as wrath.

      Also, note that this version of the list, although now generally accepted, was not the original. The original version, by a 4th-century monk, had eight sins, including depression and boasting, and did not include envy. The version we know today comes from Pope Gregory I, in the 7th century. Also, the original version of lust was “luxuria,” which included all sins of self-indulgence, not just sex.

  • Travis Donnelly

    Interesting article, but Shakespeare hit the truth on the head when he said “Nothing is either good or bad, but THINKING makes it so”.

  • Larry Henley

    The reasons I moved to NOLA – I’d rather laugh with the sinners than cry with the saints
    The sinners are much more fun.

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