Friday, December 13, 2019

Which city has the most litter?

Call it a peculiarity, but I loathe, hate, and abominate litter. The crying Indian ad campaign must have really worked on me when I was a kid.

The 2015 American Housing Survey asked people from ten cities if they have litter on the streets within half of a black of their residence. Here are the percentages who answered yes:

Percent with litter on their block

Memphis  12.3
New Orleans  10.7
Milwaukee  10.3
Pittsburgh  10.0
Portland  10.0
Cleveland  9.3

All Cities  8.9

Cincinnati  8.6
Denver  7.6
Kansas City  7.2
Raleigh  3.7

Residents of Memphis are 3.3 times more likely to report trash than people in Raleigh. Sorry Elvis, I'll take Raleigh. One difference between the cities is that Memphis has twice the percentage of blacks.

As much as I hate litter, it does serve a social function: it signals there are low-quality people around. Greater risk of getting mugged.

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