Prof. John Kincaid was quoted in WalletHub’s recent piece about the most and least sinful states.

In its 2019 Most Sinful States in America, the personal finance website compared the 50 states across 43 key indicators of immorality, including violent crimes per capita, excessive drinking, and populations with gambling disorders.

According to the study, Vermont is the least sinful state, while Nevada, one of the gambling capitals of the world, ranked as the most sinful.

Kincaid, Robert B. and Helen S. Meyner Professor of Government and Public Service, was one of six scholars from across the U.S. quoted for the story.

Asked what makes some states more sinful than others, Kincaid replied that half of WalletHub’s ten most sinful states are southern, “not surprising, given these states’ histories of racial discrimination, violence, and comparatively low socioeconomic status.”

“Two more of the states are southwestern—New Mexico and Arizona,” Kincaid said in the story. “Two of the top 20, New York and New Jersey, have notorious reputations for corruption. Given that your measure includes such things as beauty salons per capita, a state’s age distribution and socioeconomic status are probably factors, too.”

He noted that none of the top 20 sinful states lies in New England, “perhaps because of the region’s Puritan legacy, moralistic political culture, and higher education levels.”

Kincaid also commented on sports betting, soda taxes, hate crimes, and legalizing prostitution.

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