We all have our angels and demons, and sometimes they come out on social media. But where in the U.S. are Twitter users more likely to be virtuous than sinful?

We studied over 100,000 tweets geotagged in some of America’s most popular cities to determine where virtuous hashtags, like #faith, #hope, and #charity, are used the most and where some of the more devious hashtags, like #proud, #lazy, and #angry, are most touted.

Curious to know what we found? Keep reading.

Virtue Is The Winner

Virtue Wins

When it comes to virtue and vice, Twitter showed that more Americans had virtuous qualities like #charity, #justice, and #temperance than #gluttony, #greed, or #pride.

Of the hashtags studied, charitable mentions like #give, #donate, and #volunteer were more popular than any other quality. In 2015, almost 63 million Americans donated their time to volunteer efforts equating to $173 billion worth of manpower. And while 40 percent of Americans donated $500 or less to charity, another 34 percent gave $2,500 or more. People from Utah, which ranked among our most common #charity states, gave more than any other state.

Some states had a bit of a bad side, though. Nevada, home to Sin City, had more mentions of #greed than any other quality. We can’t begin to imagine why.

Virtual Virtue On Twitter

Map Of Virtue

How much can we learn from 140 characters on Twitter? More than you think. When it came to the virtuous nature of hashtags, tweets from certain states were more likely to include positive words like #justice, #faith, and #charity in their social media commentary.

While #charity was one of the most commonly used Twitter call signs across the U.S., the integrity and fairness that make up #justice were found in states like New York, New Mexico, Nebraska, and Kansas.  New Mexico is among the most ethnically diverse states, which gives their citizens multiple lens through which to view what is #fair and #just.

Other states with virtuous Twitter habits like the #courage, #bravery, and #endurance that make up fortitude included Florida, Nevada, Virginia, and Pennsylvania, while Colorado stood alone with its #temperance-themed posts.

Sinful Sayings On Twitter

Map Of Vice

Being good may have its moments, but being bad is certainly enticing.

Across the country, Americans seem to know a little bit about both. While virtuous-themed tags may have stolen the trending status in most states, certain sinful acts still stood out everywhere we looked. Of course, gluttony took the cake, metaphorically speaking. Americans are known for their eating habits heavy in saturated fat, sugars, and sodium, and in states with impressive food scenes such as New York and California, there’s plenty of options whet your appetite.

And in Southern states like Texas, Louisiana, Alabama, and Georgia, where delicious soul food reigns king, there’s enough #FoodPorn to go around. All good things in moderation, however. Gluttony is, of course, one of the seven deadly sins.

When it comes to #greed, Nevada, New Mexico, and Arkansas topped the list. With hashtags like #want, #mine, and #gambling, it’s no wonder Las Vegas, Nevada, earned its reputation as one of America’s most sinful (and most fun) cities.

Like Icarus who flew too close to the sun, pride is just as deadly a sin as greed and gluttony. When it came to tweets that mentioned #swag, #humblebrag, and #proud, the most boastful tweets came from the Northwest, like Idaho, Montana, and Wyoming.

Sin Cities

Which parts of the country made our top 10 list of the most sinful cities in the U.S.?

It turns out, New York City takes the top spot for the most sinful hashtags related to pride, wrath, gluttony, and sloth. However, its most seemingly natural sin is pride, with over 4,900 tweets mentioning tags like #proud and #instagood. While these tweets may come from users who live in the city as well as visitors just passing through one of America’s top tourist destinations, New Yorkers are known for having a certain amount of pride in, well, New York.

New York didn’t earn the top spot in every category, though. Boca Raton, Florida, ranked as our No. 1 city for envious hashtags like #jealous. South Florida is sometimes heralded as New York’s “sixth borough,” so it’s no wonder Boca Raton and NYC seem to have a lot in common (mostly the residents). New York still managed to have the second most envious tweets.

While Las Vegas took the top slot for greed, and Fort Walton Beach, Florida, won out for lust (think #sexy and #datass), other notable sinful cities were Los Angeles, Chicago, and Miami.

Virtue Over Vice

New York may be home to the most sinful hashtags, but when it comes to virtuous comments, New York is riding high. For faith, hope, charity, fortitude, justice, and prudence, tweets from New York City used the most hashtags like #believe, #donate, #loyalty, and #save. While those tweeting from the concrete jungle may enjoy gorging on delicious foods and showing off their travels and purchases, they also seem to know a thing or two about generosity and kindness.

Los Angeles, San Diego, and San Francisco also ranked in our top 10 for the most virtuous tweets related to charity and justice (#volunteer and #fair, to name a few).

Other notable virtuous cities were Austin (charity and fortitude), Philadelphia (fortitude), and Seattle (justice and hope).

Virtuous Hot Spots

All The City Feels

While tweets tagged in New York City had the most hashtags mentioning the seven deadly sins and seven heavenly virtues, other cities across the country made the list as well.

It turns out, Las Vegas is alone when it comes to the most culpable hashtags. However, many of these cities also used more heavenly hashtags like #justice, #fair, and #give. While these cities may know how to be bad from time to time, they have a soft spot for goodness and generosity.


We scraped 100,000 of the most recent tweets with geocoded hashtags and divided by population size of the cities to determine who most reported the seven deadly sins per ten thousand residents. The tags we searched were: #proud, #instagood, #swag, #humblebrag, #jealous, #mad, #angry, #pissedoff, #foodporn, #nom, #sexy, #datass, #FWB, #lazy, #chill, #want, #mine, #gambling, #gambler, #betting, and #greedy; and the seven heavenly virtues: #faith, #believe, #hope, #charity, #give, #donate, #volunteer, #strength, #loyalty, #justice, #fair, #save, #savemoney, #savings, #moderation, #sober, and #straightedge.

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