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What makes Florida the most sinful state? Where do we begin?

Excessive drinking falls under the sin of Gluttony, but this is only one Long Island iced tea.
Excessive drinking falls under the sin of Gluttony, but this is only one Long Island iced tea. dneal@MiamiHerald.com

Once again, WalletHub confirmed a widespread suspicion about Florida — we’re the best at being bad.

Not being bad at driving, although we are that. But bad at the basic seven deadly sins: Lust, Gluttony, Greed, Sloth, Wrath, Envy, Pride. Taken as a group, Florida bested closest competitors California, Nevada, Texas and Georgia as The Most Sinful State in the Union.

No kidding. Does any place combine Sloth with the food service industry as well? Look into our I’s (I-95, I-4, I-75) during rush hour and see Wrath. We’re colorful peacocks of Pride, dressing to show off what we can buy, both off the rack and at the plastic surgeon’s office. And, we’ve long been a popular adult industry location, servicing the nation’s and our own Lust.

And who made a hit out of “Ain’t It A Sin?” Gainesville native Charles Bradley.

But WalletHub didn’t concoct these rankings from anecdotes and the eye test.

Florida ranked No. 1 in Jealousy, WalletHub’s equivalent for Envy. But this kind of Jealousy wasn’t how much you worry about your sweetie’s friend who seems like more than a friend. This definition was more wanting someone else’s stuff badly enough to rip them off for it. So, of course, we’re No. 1 by a wide margin in Jealousy, but a surprisingly low 38th in Greed.

Since statehood, Florida has been associated with sunshine, swamps and real estate fraud (selling swamps in the sunshine). South Florida is to Medicare fraud what Idaho is to potatoes and New York City is to complaining. In the latest Federal Trade Commission rankings, we were No. 1 in fraud and No. 2 in identity theft.

Pride is represented as Vanity, ranked by beauty salons per capita; spending per household on personal care products and services; and the Google Search Interest Index for “Top 5 Plastic Surgeries.” Florida ranked No. 4, although not counting gym memberships, bodybuilding competitions and protein shake sales probably robbed us of our rightful place at No. 1. New York topped Vanity.

Or, maybe it didn’t. The measurements for Laziness (Sloth) were the share of adults not exercising; average weekly hours worked; volunteer rate; average daily time spent watching TV; high school graduation rate; share of population from 18 to 24 not in school, working or with a degree beyond high school. We came in seventh. Nevada, home of Sin City Las Vegas, was No. 1.

Lust brought Florida’s other top 10 ranking, No. 8, even without measuring per capita strip clubs. What did get counted were the number of births per 1,000 female residents from 15 to 19; Google Search Interest Index for adult entertainment; and average time spent on adult entertainment sites.

Despite our road rage and white supremacist websites, we were 21st in Anger & Hatred (Wrath). Our casinos and what’s left of our pari-mutuel industry didn’t get measured under Excesses & Vices (Gluttony), which is how Florida finished only 44th.

David J. Neal: 305-376-3559, @DavidJNeal

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