Updated: October 5, 2017

Since we first looked at the data, the CDC has published new findings, with new data from 2016 available. It’s only gotten worse, but state rankings have changed. Read on.

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With the popularity of hookup apps like Tinder and Grindr, finding casual sex partners has never been easier, but the increasing convenience of enjoying one-nighters has come with a cost: STD rates are surging in the U.S. like never before. Check out the full details and study below.

In alarming news for sexually active singles, CDC reports found that STD rates rose again in 2016, reaching an all-time high by topping 2015 figures, which previously stood as the worst year for STDs in the U.S. The problem is so bad that many experts are labeling the surge in STD rates a national epidemic.

In order to keep you informed about which areas pose the greatest risk, we’ve compiled a nationwide ranking of states by the frequency of STD infection. This report was created by taking the CDC data on the rate of incidents per 100k residents for the two most common STDs, gonorrhea and chlamydia, and calculating a weighted average between the two. The results may surprise you.

Compared to our 2016 rankings, perhaps the biggest story of the 2016 CDC data is the increase in reported gonorrhea cases. The top ten worst states all experienced a rise in the rate of gonorrhea per 100k residents. In Alaska (#1), Mississippi (#2) and Georgia (#4), the rate rose by more than 40 per 100k, enough for Alaska to maintain its status as the worst state in U.S. for STDs, and for the latter two states to move up several positions in the rankings. The across-the-board increase in gonorrhea infection is startling, and many experts attribute it to the rising prevalence of antibiotic-resistant strains of the disease.

Chlamydia rates also rose in most states, and remains the most common STD in the nation, which is often attributed to the fact that most people infected do not experience symptoms.

Some states were hit hard in 2016: Delaware’s (#9) rate of chlamydia infection increased by over 60 per 100k, enough to bring it into the top ten. Mississippi’s infection rate jumped by a whopping 91.9 per 100k, pushing it up to #2 overall.

Other states fared better, including North Carolina (#7), Louisiana (#2) and New Mexico (#5) which all experienced a decrease in chlamydia infections per 100k.

The state moving up the highest in the rankings is Maryland, jumping up six spots from #24 to #18, owing to significantly elevated rates of both gonorrhea and chlamydia. Next is Delaware, climbing five spots from #14 to #9. There is a four-way tie between Georgia (#4), Indiana (#23), Virginia (#25) and North Dakota (#26) for third greatest increase as they all moved up three places in the rankings.

Hawaii experienced the greatest drop in the rankings, falling eight spots from #20 to #28 due to a decrease in the chlamydia rate per 100k residents. Three states–Texas (#16), Tennessee (#22), and Michigan (#27)–fell four spots each, while three others–North Carolina (#6), Colorado (#30), Vermont (#50)–went down three spots.

Significantly, thirty states either maintained their previous position or only moved one place in the overall rankings.

The Most Sexually Diseased States

RankingStateChlamydia rate per 100,000Gonorrhea rate per 100,000Weighted Disease Score2016 RankingDifference in Ranking
1Alaska771.6196.9484.310
2Mississippi672.1239.2455.742
3Louisiana679.3230.8455.12-1
4Georgia614.6201.2407.973
5New Mexico628.6168.6398.650
6North Carolina577.6196386.83-3
7South Carolina575.5187.8381.76-1
8Arkansas562192.5377.391
9Delaware567.2179.9373.6145
10Oklahoma548.4193.6371.08-2
11Alabama553.6173363.310-1
12Illinois561.4164.8363.111-1
13New York552.8146.5349.7130
14Ohio520.9176.4348.7151
15Missouri507188.7347.9172
16Texas520.4154.6337.512-4
17California506.2164.9335.616-1
18Maryland510.4158.5334.5246
19Arizona511.5151.3331.4190
20Nevada506.7151.5329.1222
21South Dakota504.5147.8326.2210
22Tennesee489.4154.2321.818-4
23Indiana466142.8304.4263
24Florida467.4138.9303.2251
25Virginia473.2132.2302.7283
26North Dakota456.5132.1294.3293
27Michigan462.9125.5294.223-4
28Hawaii482.1102.5292.320-8
29Wisconsin466112.6289.3312
30Colorado468.6109.5289.127-3
31Pennsylvania444.7114.1279.430-1
32Washington435.9114275.0331
33Nebraska432.3113.7273.032-1
34Kentucky413.2131.3272.3351
35Oregon432.5108270.3361
36Rhode Island467.367.8267.634-2
37Kansas417.6115.2266.4381
38Montana427.583.9255.737-1
39Minnesota413.293253.1390
40Iowa415.683.2249.4400
41New Jersey385.391.1238.2410
42Massachusetts394.573.3233.9431
43Connecticut387.476.1231.842-1
44Wyoming351.546.9199.2440
45Idaho356.338.4197.4450
46Utah315.770.1192.9460
47Maine312.633.9173.3481
48West Virginia261.449.8155.6491
49New Hampshire260.634.3147.5501
50Vermont269.920.1145.047-3
Trent Wilson
 

Trent Wilson is the open data analyst for BackgroundChecks.org. He loves crunching numbers and finding public data sets that shine light on thorny issues and public policy across the world. When he's not looking for new data or issuing Freedom of Information Requests, Trent enjoys Stand Up Paddling and wind surfing near his home on the west coast.

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