Honest Tea finds the most honest cities, gender, sports fans & more


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Organic bottled tea company Honest Tea this week released results of a social experiment in which it tested unsuspecting consumers for honesty, ranked them and categorized them by observable characteristics. Some of the findings: Women are more honest than men, motorcyclists were more honest than comic book fans, and Boston baseball fans were more honest than New York baseball fans.

Between Aug. 8 and 19, the tea company arranged more than 50 pop-up kiosks in more than 30 cities across the United States, stocking each with Honest Tea and Honest Ade. Kiosk signs informed consumers that the drinks were $1 per bottle — they could deposit the money into a clear box on-site — and payment was based on the honor system.

Undercover observers nearby recorded the outcomes using a digital tracking application, and noted geographic locations, such as cities and business districts; observable characteristics, such as gender and hair color; and groupings of people, such as baseball fans, comic book fans, beachgoers, people with kids and people with facial hair.

“Though our experiment might not pass muster with a social scientist, the results present fascinating and fun insights about the American population,” said Seth Goldman, president and CEO of Honest Tea.

Here’s what the results showed:


Top 5 honest cities:

  1. Oakland, Calif. (100% honest)
  2. Salt Lake City (100% honest)
  3. Boulder, Colo. (99% honest)
  4. San Francisco (97% honest)
  5. Seaside Heights, N.J. (97% honest)


Top 5 least honest locations:

  1. Atlantic Terminal, Brooklyn, N.Y. (61% honest)
  2. Venice Beach, Calif. (76% honest)
  3. Chelsea Piers, N.Y. (77% honest)
  4. 16th Street Mall, Denver (80% honest)
  5. South Side Chicago (82% honest)


Hair color ranked by honesty:

  1. Brunettes (92% honest)
  2. Blondes (91% honest)
  3. Redheads (94% honest)
  4. Gray hair (96% honest)
  5. Bald men (85% honest)


Baseball team fans ranked by honesty:

  1. Boston (100% honest)
  2. San Francisco (97% honest)
  3. Washington, D.C. (93% honest)
  4. Anaheim (90% honest)
  5. New York (83% honest)


How we know this study is just for fun and not actually a reliable indicator of honesty:

  • Wall Street was found to be 97% honest.


Even though this wasn’t the kind of study you would find in a scientific journal, the customizable online infographics at NationalHonestyIndex.com are fun and worth wasting some of your workday on. Check it out to compare the honesty statistics of more than 30 cities and 50 different groups of people.

For the complete list of cities, locations, business districts and baseball teams ranked by honesty, click here.