(WalletHub) Red states and blue states may like to point to one another as the source of all that is wrong with the U.S., but the truth is that each of the 50 states has its own virtues and vices. For example, Missouri has the worst drug use problem. And it certainly comes as no surprise that Nevada is the most gambling-addicted.
But the cost of state sins is something we have to share as a nation. Gambling alone costs the U.S. about $5 billion per year. That’s nothing compared to the amount of money we lose from smoking, though – over $300 billion per year. Harmful behavior on the individual level can add up to staggering economic costs on a national scale.
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 43 key indicators of immorality. Our data set ranges from violent crimes per capita to excessive drinking to share of the population with gambling disorders. Read on to see the full ranking, insight from a panel of experts, and a full description of our methodology.
With Mardi Gras approaching and Louisiana set to be the center of plenty of drinking, drug use, and sex, WalletHub has also prepared a Mardi Gras Facts – Booze, Floats, Money & More infographic to go along with this report.