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San Francisco soars in ranking of most sinful U.S. cities

Meanwhile, San Jose has really cleaned up its act

Photo by Michael Warwick

WalletHub ranked the country’s most and least sinful cities again this year. The credit site found that San Francisco excelled in dirty dealings year over year, jumping to 54th place—out of 182 surveyed cities—up from 88 last year.

Meanwhile, San Jose and Santa Rosa have—shockingly—comparatively clean slates, coming in at 175th and 176th, respectively, for dirty deeds.

Whether or not San Jose and Santa Rosa residents want the title of national goody-two-shoes or would rather enjoy a little of San Francisco’s more down and dirty reputation remains to be seen.

But despite the cheeky tone of the rankings, they actually measure some deathly serious statistics. Here’s how the bad seeds sprout up

  • For violent crimes, San Francisco ranked 136th nationwide. San Jose came in 146th, and Santa Rosa 138th. Note that this is according to the FBI’s Uniform Crime Report for 2016, which does not measure all crime in the U.S. on account of some local law agencies failing to report crimes to the federal government.
  • For property crime, identity theft, and fraud, SF comes in 11th place. San Jose is 106, and Santa Rosa 166.
  • For “lust”—here measured by the number of Ashley Madison accounts, Tinder accounts, and adult entertainment venues per capita for adults and extrapolating underage sexual activity via the teen pregnancy rate—SF ranks a healthy 33rd place nationally. San Jose and Santa Rosa come in 153 and 181.
  • For “laziness”—measured by the number of residents not exercising, the rate of local volunteerism, average number of hours of TV watched, and, perhaps troublingly by the high school dropout rate—San Francisco drops to 135th place. but still can’t quite beat San Jose or Santa Rosa’s abiding virtue, both landing respectively at 151 and 155.

Last year, Curbed SF took some exception with WalletHub’s standards of depravity. Measuring the local obesity rate as an indicator of “gluttony” seems rather mean spirited, for example, and clocking gambling disorders as a measure of “greed” seems to rather misunderstand the compulsive nature of such addictions.

Nevertheless, the site stands by its methodology. You can get the full low-down here.

A fountain in downtown San Jose.
Apparently Silicon Valley cleaned up its act.
       By cheng