These U.S. Cities Have the Highest STD Rates

Our research team dives deep into the C.D.C.’s latest 2019 STD Surveillance Statistics and provides our analysis of current trends.

Last Updated: Oct 22, 2019

Innerbody.com created this interactive map depicting metro areas with the highest STD rates.
Data source: CDC 2019

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (C.D.C.) recently released its latest Sexually Transmitted Disease Surveillance Report (Oct. 8th, 2019) along with new data on the number of reported sexually transmitted disease (STD) cases across U.S. counties and metro areas.

Innerbody.com’s research team analyzed the latest statistics on a city-by-city basis and developed our list of the top 100 cities with the highest STD rates and with key trends. But before we get to the rankings, here are some findings and trends that we observed:

STD rates continue to run rampant in the South. Nearly half of the top 25 cities with the highest STD rates in the South.

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Four of the top five states with the highest rates are in the South. The Top 5 states with the highest STD rates are:

  1. Alaska
  2. Mississippi
  3. Louisiana
  4. South Carolina
  5. Alabama

To put these high rates in perspective: for the top three worst states, over 1% of the population has an STD.

California led all states with the most cities in the Top 100 with seven cities. Ohio and Texas tied for the second most cities, both of which had six each.

The cities with the biggest jump in rankings since last year include:

  1. Columbus, GA up 17 spots from 32nd 15th
  2. Jackson, MS up 13 spots from 15th 2nd
  3. San Francisco, CA up 12 spots from 16th 4th
  4. Milwaukee, WI up 11 spots from 18th 7th
  5. Baltimore, MD up 5 spots from 6th 1st

In terms of total STD cases (again, including HIV, syphilis, chlamydia, and gonorrhea only), the top five cities are:

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  1. Los Angeles, CA (92,401)
  2. Chicago, IL (58,322)
  3. Houston, TX (36,710)
  4. Phoenix, AZ (34,973)
  5. Philadelphia, PA (28,866)

We also noticed that three of the top 10 cities are relatively small (Augusta, GA, Killeen TX, and Shreveport, LA), but share one thing in common: they are home to relatively large military bases.

Without further ado, here are the Top 100 cities with the highest STD rates:

The Top 20 U.S. Cities with the Highest STD Rates

#1

Baltimore, MD

Baltimore, MD
  • STD Cases / 100K

    2,004

  • Metro Population

    602,495

  • HIV Cases

    207

  • Chlamydia Cases

    7,636

  • Gonorrhea Cases

    4,231

  • Syphilis Cases

    210

#2

Jackson, MS

Jackson, MS
  • STD Cases / 100K

    1,872

  • Metro Population

    237,085

  • HIV Cases

    86

  • Chlamydia Cases

    3,057

  • Gonorrhea Cases

    1,330

  • Syphilis Cases

    52

#3

Philadelphia, PA

Philadelphia, PA
  • STD Cases / 100K

    1,822

  • Metro Population

    1,584,138

  • HIV Cases

    499

  • Chlamydia Cases

    21,119

  • Gonorrhea Cases

    7,288

  • Syphilis Cases

    459

#4

San Francisco, CA

San Francisco, CA
  • STD Cases / 100K

    1,754

  • Metro Population

    883,305

  • HIV Cases

    246

  • Chlamydia Cases

    9,137

  • Gonorrhea Cases

    5,775

  • Syphilis Cases

    584

#5

Montgomery, AL

Montgomery, AL
  • STD Cases / 100K

    1,731

  • Metro Population

    225,763

  • HIV Cases

    71

  • Chlamydia Cases

    2,828

  • Gonorrhea Cases

    1,045

  • Syphilis Cases

    36

#6

Augusta, GA

Augusta, GA
  • STD Cases / 100K

    1,675

  • Metro Population

    201,554

  • HIV Cases

    59

  • Chlamydia Cases

    2,297

  • Gonorrhea Cases

    1,045

  • Syphilis Cases

    34

#7

Milwaukee, WI

Milwaukee, WI
  • STD Cases / 100K

    1,657

  • Metro Population

    948,201

  • HIV Cases

    134

  • Chlamydia Cases

    10,928

  • Gonorrhea Cases

    4,706

  • Syphilis Cases

    77

#8

Killeen, TX

Killeen, TX
  • STD Cases / 100K

    1,644

  • Metro Population

    355,642

  • HIV Cases

    52

  • Chlamydia Cases

    4,190

  • Gonorrhea Cases

    1,630

  • Syphilis Cases

    26

#9

Shreveport, LA

Shreveport, LA
  • STD Cases / 100K

    1,615

  • Metro Population

    242,922

  • HIV Cases

    80

  • Chlamydia Cases

    2,722

  • Gonorrhea Cases

    1,145

  • Syphilis Cases

    55

#10

Indianapolis, IN

Indianapolis, IN
  • STD Cases / 100K

    1,613

  • Metro Population

    954,670

  • HIV Cases

    228

  • Chlamydia Cases

    10,536

  • Gonorrhea Cases

    4,691

  • Syphilis Cases

    168

#11

New York (Bronx), NY

New York (Bronx), NY
  • STD Cases / 100K

    1,609

  • Metro Population

    1,432,132

  • HIV Cases

    498

  • Chlamydia Cases

    17,711

  • Gonorrhea Cases

    4,941

  • Syphilis Cases

    388

#12

Fayetteville, NC

Fayetteville, NC
  • STD Cases / 100K

    1,559

  • Metro Population

    332,330

  • HIV Cases

    N/A

  • Chlamydia Cases

    3,646

  • Gonorrhea Cases

    1,486

  • Syphilis Cases

    49

#13

New York (Manhattan), NY

New York (Manhattan), NY
  • STD Cases / 100K

    1,542

  • Metro Population

    1,628,701

  • HIV Cases

    393

  • Chlamydia Cases

    16,670

  • Gonorrhea Cases

    7,845

  • Syphilis Cases

    596

#14

Tallahassee, FL

Tallahassee, FL
  • STD Cases / 100K

    1,502

  • Metro Population

    292,502

  • HIV Cases

    64

  • Chlamydia Cases

    3,342

  • Gonorrhea Cases

    1,031

  • Syphilis Cases

    20

#15

Columbus, GA

Columbus, GA
  • STD Cases / 100K

    1,440

  • Metro Population

    194,160

  • HIV Cases

    81

  • Chlamydia Cases

    1,820

  • Gonorrhea Cases

    955

  • Syphilis Cases

    20

#16

Peoria, IL

Peoria, IL
  • STD Cases / 100K

    1,421

  • Metro Population

    180,621

  • HIV Cases

    8

  • Chlamydia Cases

    1,669

  • Gonorrhea Cases

    891

  • Syphilis Cases

    7

#17

Washington DC

Washington DC
  • STD Cases / 100K

    1,393

  • Metro Population

    1,773,266

  • HIV Cases

    630

  • Chlamydia Cases

    17,480

  • Gonorrhea Cases

    6,803

  • Syphilis Cases

    426

#18

Columbia, SC

Columbia, SC
  • STD Cases / 100K

    1,390

  • Metro Population

    414,576

  • HIV Cases

    106

  • Chlamydia Cases

    4,040

  • Gonorrhea Cases

    1,669

  • Syphilis Cases

    55

#19

Denver, CO

Denver, CO
  • STD Cases / 100K

    1,379

  • Metro Population

    716,492

  • HIV Cases

    153

  • Chlamydia Cases

    6,928

  • Gonorrhea Cases

    2,821

  • Syphilis Cases

    133

#20

Birmingham, AL

Birmingham, AL
  • STD Cases / 100K

    1,372

  • Metro Population

    659,300

  • HIV Cases

    141

  • Chlamydia Cases

    6,031

  • Gonorrhea Cases

    2,920

  • Syphilis Cases

    97

Other Cites with High STD rates (rankings: 21 - 100)

Rank Metro Area STD cases/ 100K Metro Population HIV Cases Chlamydia Cases Gonorrhea Cases Syphilis Cases
21 Memphis, TN 1,371 935,764 244 9,003 3,694 135
22 Little Rock, AR 1,357 392,680 112 3,625 1,632 73
23 Macon, GA 1,353 153,095 43 1,525 526 21
24 New Orleans, LA 1,325 825,057 303 7,691 3,056 185
25 Greensboro, NC 1,313 533,670 N/A 4,985 1,907 113
26 Cleveland, OH 1,310 1,243,857 156 11,044 5,097 158
27 Anchorage, AK 1,308 291,538 N/A 2,523 1,282 9
28 Kansas City, MO 1,306 700,307 104 5,856 3,146 146
29 Detroit, MI 1,264 1,753,893 321 15,636 6,349 179
30 Cincinnati, OH 1,263 816,684 191 6,861 3,381 71
31 Baton Rouge, LA 1,251 440,956 170 4,057 1,387 73
32 Richmond, VA 1,231 558,044 103 4,790 2,000 77
33 Waco, TX 1,196 254,607 35 2,125 907 12
34 Savannah, GA 1,181 289,195 79 2,547 804 63
35 Kalamazoo, MI 1,178 264,870 19 2,254 859 8
36 St. Louis, MO 1,194 1,560,842 264 12,409 5,710 249
37 Toledo, OH 1,169 429,899 43 3,303 1,693 28
38 Lubbock, TX 1,129 307,412 35 2,429 991 51
39 Grand Rapids, MI 1,127 173,588 N/A 1,384 568 4
40 Chicago, IL 1,126 5,180,493 898 42,422 14,920 980
41 Charlotte, NC 1,122 1,093,901 270 8,828 3,181 265
42 Lexington, KY 1,107 323,780 41 2,446 1,088 51
43 Atlanta, GA 1,105 2,300,344 1,013 17,244 7,441 740
44 New York (Brooklyn), NY 1,103 2,582,830 637 21,137 6,824 519
45 Jacksonville, FL 1,088 950,181 304 6,925 3,239 170
46 Louisville, KY 1,086 770,517 128 5,445 2,790 129
47 Columbus, OH 1,082 1,310,300 238 9,409 4,444 321
48 Oklahoma City, OK 1,069 792,582 111 5,693 2,606 176
49 Mobile, AL 1,065 413,757 82 3,032 1,327 48
50 Champaign, IL 1,064 209,983 16 1,704 518 13
51 Gainesville, FL 1,057 269,956 53 2,191 618 44
52 Albuquerque, NM 1,049 678,701 31 4,932 2,079 107
53 Bakersfield, CA 1,046 896,764 149 6,866 2,264 251
54 Norfolk, VA 1,038 936,899 159 7,241 2,406 77
55 Newark, NJ 1,022 799,767 303 6,064 2,015 98
56 Austin, TX 1,006 1,248,743 221 8,946 3,306 310
57 Tulsa, OK 991 648,360 69 4,245 2,111 70
58 Springfield, MO 980 291,923 11 2,020 819 22
59 Fresno, CA 979 994,400 158 7,198 2,261 279
60 Dallas, TX 972 2,637,772 814 18,417 6,800 417
61 Pensacola, FL 950 315,534 61 2,124 827 45
62 Rochester, NY 934 742,474 64 4,988 1,891 59
63 Rockford, IL 932 284,081 26 1,980 659 9
64 Orlando, FL 932 1,380,645 507 9,523 3,100 243
65 Omaha, NE 928 566,880 N/A 3,670 1,575 13
66 Flint, MI 922 406,892 34 2,751 981 21
67 Greenville, SC 920 514,213 65 3,162 1,522 47
68 Portland, OR 917 811,880 82 5,198 2,086 159
69 Los Angeles, CA 914 10,105,518 1,527 64,302 26,103 1,996
70 Nashville, TN 914 692,587 127 4,567 1,656 109
71 Columbia, MO 912 180,005 18 1,328 310 4
72 Evansville, IN 901 180,974 N/A 1,174 449 8
73 Minneapolis, MN 900 1,259,428 131 8,156 3,028 152
74 San Antonio, TX 896 1,986,049 358 12,986 4,496 314
75 South Bend, IN 890 270,771 19 1,685 720 6
76 Charleston, SC 882 405,905 81 2,738 793 48
77 Des Moines, IA 876 487,204 30 3,109 1,119 41
78 Sacramento, CA 875 1,540,975 133 9,852 3,342 287
79 Huntsville, AL 871 366,519 43 2,258 880 54
80 Wichita, KS 857 513,607 24 3,049 1,310 42
81 Knoxville, TN 853 465,289 50 2,600 1,333 38
82 Lansing, MI 853 292,735 25 1,902 565 29
83 Dayton, OH 852 532,331 63 3,154 1,346 35
84 Fort Wayne, IN 847 375,351 24 2,238 939 3
85 Yakima, WA 836 251,446 24 1,658 429 15
86 Buffalo, NY 834 919,719 91 5,571 2,039 56
87 Lafayette, IN 825 193,048 8 1,181 401 10
88 Worcester, MA 819 470,406 44 2,740 1,060 54
89 San Diego, CA 819 3,343,364 404 20,832 5,973 585
90 Lafayette, LA 817 242,782 53 1,423 532 28
91 Tacoma, CA 815 891,299 49 5,421 1,774 66
92 Myrtle Beach, SC 814 344,147 70 1,832 944 26
93 Grand Rapids, MI 804 653,786 46 4,085 1,136 34
94 Akron, OH 802 541,918 43 3,175 1,132 37
95 Riverside, CA 800 2,171,603 210 13,144 3,978 242
96 New York (Queens), NY 799 2,278,906 442 14,421 3,513 267
97 Tucson, AZ 798 1,039,073 115 6,625 1,570 100
98 Albany, NY 797 307,117 34 1,877 519 51
99 Fort Lauderdale, FL 797 1,951,260 681 11,283 3,933 328
100 Chattanooga, TN 794 364,286 37 1,922 928 42

How We Collected Data for This Report

All of the STD data found in this report, including case statistics for HIV, syphilis, gonorrhea, and chlamydia, are from the C.D.C.’s latest data release (Aug. 2019) for the year 2018. Syphilis data includes only primary and secondary syphilis cases and does not include congenital and early latent syphilis cases. HIV cases are not reported for some cities. Statistics for other relatively common STDs, such as herpes, are not collected by the C.D.C. at this time and hence are left out of our analysis. For more information about which statistics the C.D.C. does and does not track, see its STD Data & Statistics page.

All estimated metro area and state population data is from the C.D.C. and the US Census Bureau. For our interactive map, our research team decided to use counties as visual proxies for most metro areas. The C.D.C. does not have STD data for all US counties.

For our “Top 100 Rankings,” we chose to only include city metro areas with an estimated population of 150,000 or more. Though Washington, DC is technically a district, we chose to include it as a city. Also, since New York City is relatively large in size and the C.D.C. breaks down STD cases there by borough, we made the editorial decision to treat each borough as its own metro area for ranking purposes. No statistical testing was used during the production of this research.

Sources

https://www.cdc.gov/std/stats18/default.htm
https://www.cdc.gov/std/chlamydia/default.htm
https://www.cdc.gov/std/gonorrhea/default.htm
https://www.cdc.gov/std/syphilis/default.htm
https://www.cdc.gov/std/hiv/default.htm
https://www.cdc.gov/std/stats17/appendix-c.htm
https://gis.cdc.gov/grasp/nchhstpatlas/tables.html
https://www.census.gov/data/datasets/time-series/demo/popest/2010s-counties-total.html

Additional STD Resources

STD Information:
STD Symptoms & Causes from the Mayo Clinic
STD Guide from Planned Parenthood
STD Awareness for Teens from KidsHealth
STD Testing Resources:
Mayo Clinic: STD Testing Guide
Planned Parenthood: STD Testing
Innerbody: STD Testing At-Home Guide
STD Testing Companies:
LetsGetChecked | MyLAB Box | STDcheck | EverlyWell

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