The Ten Most Virtuous
While it does not break the top ten in any single statistic, Kansas scored in the best 20 regarding nearly every vice considered for our ranking. The state beat out 36 others in drug abstinence, with less than 3% of the adult population using an illicit drug other than marijuana each year. Kansas’ best marks came in alcohol consumption, with only a 3.2% rate of heavy drinking among adults, the 11th best score in the country. The state has been historically and remains one of the most alcohol-unfriendly states in the country. In 1948, 15 years after the 19th amendment was overturned, Kansas became the last state to repeal statewide Prohibition. Today, nearly 1 in 5 counties in Kansas are “dry counties,” meaning they sell no liquor, and only beer that is 3.2% alcohol or less.
Click the Image for a Larger Graph of Heavy Drinkers by State
Wyoming is average when it comes to alcohol consumption and ranks as one of the top ten in tobacco consumption. However, state residents use the most smokeless tobacco per capita each year. In the state, more than 76 packs are sold per capita each year, the 11th highest rate in the country. The Cowboy State makes up for these shortfalls by having some of the best scores in drug usage, pornography and gambling. Wyoming has only four casinos, the ninth fewest number of pornography subscribers per 1,000 broadband users, and has the sixth-lowest rate of hard drug use per month (2.78% of adults).
Like Kansas, Texas does not perform exceptionally poorly in any category. The Lone Star state has the fourth-lowest rate of illicit drug use per month, at just under 6%. The state also ranks fourth-best for marijuana use, with only 7.3% of adults reporting use in a single year. Considering its size and population, it is impressive that there is only one major casino in the state. Texas’ neighbor, Oklahoma, has 106.
Ohio scores average or below average in several categories, including alcohol consumption, where it ranks 25th, and tobacco usage, where it ranks 36th. The Buckeye State makes up for these shortcomings by scoring among the top 20 in drug use and has one of the best scores in gambling, as most forms of it are banned in the state. The state ranks fourth-lowest in pornography with only 2.2 subscribers per 1000 broadband users.
Maryland only has one serious offense on the vice list – a higher than average rate of pornography subscribers. Otherwise, the state is fairly virtuous. Maryland is has the 20th-lowest rate of drug use and, according to the National Gaming Association, has no major casinos or gambling venues. The state also has one of the lowest rates of binge drinking among adults, with a rate of 12.6% in 2009. The Old Line State also has the seventh-best rank in tobacco usage – only 15% of its population are regular smokers.
Click the Image for a Larger Graph of Cigarette Smokers by State