My grandmother used to refer to California as a "sinful state" because of stuff she read about movie stars in gossip magazines. When I asked her what was so sinful about the Golden State, she said it was "all those divorces, and the women out there don't wear bras!"

And that pretty much ended the conversation. The biggest error I could have made would have been saying "What's so bad about that?" You don't want to have the divorce-and-no-bra-wearing lecture from grandma.

Plus, according to a new report from personal-finance site WalletHub called "2018’s Most Sinful States in America," my grandma was wrong. California is not our most sinful state.

First, here's what the folks at WalletHub looked at to make their determinations:

Some states are more well-behaved than others. In order to determine the states that most give in to their desires, WalletHub compared the 50 states across 38 key indicators of immorality. Our data set ranges from violent crimes per capita to excessive drinking to share of the population with gambling disorders.

Before we take a look at where Illinois shows up on the list, here are the top 5 most sinful states in the Union:

1) Florida

2) California

3) Nevada

4) Texas

5) Georgia


Ironically, my grandma loved going to Florida. However, to be fair, in condemning California she was only off by one state. Now, here are the top 5 least sinful states:

46) Iowa

47) Utah

48) Maine

49) North Dakota

50) Vermont


As for Illinois, we just missed the Sinful Top 5 by coming in as the #7 most sinful state, just behind Tennessee.

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

  • 13th – Anger & Hatred
  • 19th – Jealousy
  • 24th – Excesses & Vices
  • 30th – Greed
  • 13th – Lust
  • 6th – Vanity
  • 22nd – Laziness

As for our Midwestern neighbors (except those goody two-shoes in Iowa):

  • Wisconsin is #40
  • Michigan is #8
  • Missouri is #19
  • Indiana is #32
  • Kentucky is #22

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