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San Francisco downgraded to nation’s 88th most sinful city

Alas, we’ve really cleaned up our act

A photo of the neon signs of strip clubs in North Beach. IM_photo /

Back in May, the real estate search engine FindTheHome declared San Francisco the most sinful city in California, and number 27 nationwide.

It was quite a performance, and presumably a team effort.

But now the credit site WalletHub has some (literally) sobering news: By their rubric, we’re merely number 88 out of the nation’s 150 largest cities, and it seems we’ve even slipped to number eight statewide.

California’s true sin city by the WalletHub standard? Sacramento, also 38th nationwide. The jokes pretty much make themselves, so we’ll move on.

Of course, the two reports are measuring different things. FindTheHome was concerned with things like the number of liquor stores and adult entertainment venues per capita.

(Our average was 5.36 per 10,000 residents. It was the liquor stores that put us over.)

WalletHub looked at a much wider spectrum of illicit statistics, measuring things like envy via the number of thefts, and greed via the dearth of charitable donations as a percentage of income.

Which are not necessarily fair standards to employ in many cases.

Measuring “vanity” by the number of beauty parlors and tanning salons in a city, for example, is probably not something local business owners appreciate.

Kids sometimes drop out of high school out of “laziness,” as WalletHub speculates, but sometimes also just because of terrible circumstances, or failings in judgment unrelated to work ethic.

And measuring “gluttony” via obesity rates misdiagnoses the causes of obesity for many people—and is also just kind of mean.

For the latter, it might be more profitable to instead measure something like the amount of money spent dining out—about 4.4 percent of yearly household income in 2014, or roughly $3,917—relative to the amount spent on charitable spending: 2.4 percent.

WalletHub did not immediately return our request for comment on their standards, but we’ll update you when they do.

[Update: WalletHub analyst Jill Gonzalez points out that the dropout rate was adjusted by the poverty rate to account for economic circumstances, and that they made a point of gauging obesity rather than just weight. Teen pregnancy, says Gonzalez, was used as a proxy for underage sex, to complement data about adults’ sex lives.]

Still, there is some interesting data here. For example, we rank 105th place for violent crimes per capita and 81st for greed, but 19th for thefts.

Remarkably, we came in 145th place, nearly dead last, for excessive drinking and obesity.

Also 149th for sloth and “laziness”—which is also a measure of time spent at the gym and average working hours on top of the aforementioned dropout rate.

The one vice we scored the highest on? You guessed it: lust.

We ranked 17th in the nation via a formula measuring per capita adult entertainment venues, Ashley Madison accounts, and Tinder accounts.

Which we guess tells us how WalletHub feels about Tinder.

Michael Warwick /