“Evil” areas of the United States

Have you ever wondered where the “worst” areas of the country are? So did the Kansas State University Geography Department. So they mapped it out. They looked at each of the “seven deadly sins” and plotted the highest and lowest concentrations of each.  The breakdown of their methodologies of calculations:

  • Greed: comparing average incomes with the total number of inhabitants living beneath the poverty line.
  • Envy: using the total number of thefts—robbery, burglary, larceny and stolen cars.
  • Wrath: comparing the total number of violent crimes – murder, assault and rape – reported to the FBI per capita.
  • Lust: compiling the number of sexually transmitted diseases—HIV, AIDS, syphilis, chlamydia and gonorrhea – reported per capita.
  • Gluttony: counting the number of fast food restaurants per capita.
  • Sloth: comparing expenditures on arts, entertainment and recreation with the rate of employment.
  • Pride: the “root of all sins”, in this study, is the aggregate of all data – combining all data from the six other sins and averaged it into an overview of all evil.

It’s important to recognize that the data in these images are all relative to itself.  So the “cream” color means the county/area is within “normal” ranges.  Although this gives us the extremes, it doesn’t really give us a true reading of the problem with a specific sin, just the areas that are outside the norm.  For instance, most areas of the nation are within the nominal range for Gluttony.  Does that mean gluttony is not a problem?  Surely not.  It just means we are all equally gluttonous.

There are also some additional oversights with the data:

  • Lust should have integrated pornography statistics as that implies more lustful behavior than STDs. Apparently Utah would have been higher in the Lust scale (but that’s for a different post).
  • Gluttony should not have been measured by number of fast food restaurants as McDonald’s is everywhere.  Instead, a much better measure would have used obesity rates as well as smoking, alcohol consumption and prescription drug abuse.
  • Art and entertainment is a terrible measure for slothfulness as there is plenty of art and entertainment that is uplifting rather than slothful.

Check out additional spacial mapping of the data (including “hotspots”) in an article from the Las Vegas Sun.

Thanks Ryan (probably the coolest site in Utah) and RB.

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