Just for Fun: Sin Across America

A fun exercise by researchers from Kansas State University trying to explore the habits of people around the country has drawn a map of sin across America.

A Catholic News Service article breaks down the researchers findings based on patterns of behavior. The researchers collected census information, FBI crime reports and stats from the Dept. of Human Health and Services. How did they break it down? How else but by the seven deadly sins!

Now, of course, this is not a serious study...or is it? We certainly can't point fingers at regions of the country, but it gives us some insight into our vices...and it turns out we've got a few. You won't color me shocked at that. Though it is not a study meant to identify our greatest downfalls, it is a great starting point for a look inward. I find it quite interesting what variables they used to determine the deadly sins, and am curious what we would use to make the same measure in light of our faith.

From CNS:
Here is how the Kansas State researchers calculated the sinfulness of any one region:

-- Sloth: expenditures per capita on entertainment and recreation, such as video games and movie rentals, that tend to keep people isolated from one another as reported in the "U.S. Census Bureau 2002 Economic Census: Arts, Entertainment and Recreation Report."

-- Greed: comparing total per capita income with the number of people living in poverty per capita as reported by the U.S. Census Bureau.

-- Envy: statistics from "FBI Uniform Crime Reports" related to stealing, i.e., robbery, burglary. larceny and motor vehicle theft.

-- Wrath: more statistics from the FBI, but for rape, assault and murder.

-- Gluttony: comparing the total number of fast-food restaurants per capita as reported by the "U.S. Census Bureau 2002 Economic Census: Food Services and Drinking Places Report."

-- Lust: the number of sexually transmitted diseases per capita from data collected by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

-- Pride: With no data that could be related, the researchers calculated pride as the aggregation of the other six sins.