Thursday, May 21, 2009

Bible Belt or Swath of Sin?

Do you live in "Sin City?" Is your county the envy of the nation, or just rife with envy? Geographers from Kansas State University have put together a project which attempts to lay out where each of the Cardinal Sins is most prevalent. For each sin, the group used various statistical measures for 3000 counties nationwide. As with any attempt to quantify the abstract, there may be room for argument for any given measure.

Envy is measured by the total number of thefts in an area:



Greed is a comparison of average incomes with the number of people living below the poverty line:



Gluttony is the number of fast food restaurants per capita:



Wrath is the total number of violent crimes:



Lust is the total number of STDs per capita:



Sloth compares expenditures on arts, entertainment and recreation with the employment rate:



Pride is an aggregate of the other six sins:



I don't know if "Fast Food equals Gluttony" is a good measure here, but amount of groceries consumed per capita is probably harder to measure. I thought the Lust and Wrath measures are pretty good. I also thought the Greed measure was pretty clever, but I wonder if charitable giving could be used as an offset? And looking at the Pride map, the old Bible belt doesn't fare too well.

Hat tips to Junk Charts and FlowingData.

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2 Comments:

Blogger Foxfier, formerly Sailorette said...

Given that I grew up technically in poverty, but we had TV, two cars, high speed internet (for the area) and when we kids got older we had at least one "kid car"... the poverty level is kinda a bad way to measure it; measuring against the average income is also a bit funky, since that would mean that areas that have high unemployment, large retirement communities or a lot of college kids would be higher.

A very clever idea, though.

I do think they'd have to factor in charity...might also want to try to balance to make sure the fast food place numbers aren't artificially made higher by a large transient population. (that wouldn't effect the per capita, I think, but would raise the market)

Sloth I'm not sure on, but can't place my finger on it-- maybe it's that so much of the entertainment and recreation spending is gov't based?

STD is pretty good, envy is pretty good, wrath is pretty good, not so sure about "pride."

9:33 PM  
Blogger CMinor said...

You have a point. Greed might better be measured using, say, consumption of nonessential goods per capita vs. average income.

7:17 AM  

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