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Nancy Smith

Orlando Makes No. 2 on 'Most Sinful Cities in America' List

July 24, 2013 - 6:00pm

Orlando is moving up in the world. Or, not so far down, depending on how you look at it.

Last year Men's Health Magazine jumped the Magic City over Las Vegas, ranking it as No. 1 Smuttiest City in America.

But this year, judged by an online blog with a hip national audience, Florida's top tourist and convention destination must have had a sudden poof of purity, because it dropped to No. 2.

Motovo, which subheads itself as "the lighter side of real estate," made Orlando runner-up on its Most Sinful City in America list. No. 1 honors went to the darkest horse in the pasture, St. Louis, Mo.

Once again, Las Vegas -- with all of its casinos and dancing girls and escort services -- got passed over on a Gommorah list. Oh,Vegas was still on Motovo's. But nine other big cities -- Miami as well as Orlando -- proved to be more sinful based on the biblical criteria used to judge the "contest."

And what were the criteria? The Seven Deadly Sins of pride, lust, greed, wrath, envy, gluttony, and sloth.

Heres the full list of the 10 most sinful cities in America:

1. St. Louis, Mo
2. Orlando, Fla.
3. Minneapolis, Minn.
4. Pittsburgh, Pa.
5. Milwaukee, Wis.
6. Cincinnati, Ohio
7. Miami, Fla.
8. Buffalo, N.Y.
9. Detroit, Mich.
10. Las Vegas, Nev.

In order to make this ranking, writer Randy Nelson said the Motovo team had to "translate the sins into some criteria that makes sense for modern city living. Thats how we came up with the seven we ended up using:"

  1. Strip clubs per capita (Lust)
  2. Cosmetic surgeons per capita (Pride)
  3. Violent crime per year per 1,000 residents (Wrath)
  4. Theft per year per 1,000 residents (Envy)
  5. Percentage of disposable income given to charity each year (Greed)
  6. Percentage of obese residents (Gluttony)
  7. Percentage of physically inactive residents (Sloth).

Each city was ranked from 1 to 95, with 1 being most sinful and 95 being least. Scores were averaged across all criteria to come up with the Top 10 Most Sinful Cities.

Orlando, as it happens, didn't stand out in any one category, as, say, Las Vegas did in "Lust." But, while Vegas came in low in many areas, Orlando -- in spite of the "family-friendly" image it prefers -- was near the top in almost every sinful category. In the "Sloth" category, for example, Orlando tied with St. Louis for third -- with 28.8 percent of its residentswho arent meeting government physical activity guidelines. The information comes straight from the Centers for Disease Control.

Motovo's Nelson admits that though the list is carefully done, it's really all a bit of good fun. "To be clear," he writes, "were not saying youre a bad person if you live in one of the cities on our (list), but theres definitely some Old Testament-level sinful stuff going on around you."

Reach Nancy Smith at or at 228-282-2423.

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