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Tea test: Los Angeles ranks least 'Honest' of 30 cities

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The results of Honest Tea's steep social experiment are in and Venice Beach has some explaining to do. 

In recent years, the tea company has set out to determine which cities were are the most honest, and which cities you shouldn't leave at home with your diary and savings bonds.

Tea totallers set up kiosks around the country, unmanned, with directions to deposit a dollar for each cup taken. Then they monitor their honor system.

Los Angeles set the low bar in 2010 finishing deadbeat last in honesty among thirsty passerbys. In 2011, New Yorkers robbed us of that distinct honor. In 2012, we stole it back.

This year, the dogoodery of Salt Lake City and Oakland -- both with with 100 percent honesty -- put the rest of us to shame. Boulder sipped in at 99 percent honesty, San Francisco and Seaside Heights, NJ were almost full at 97 percent, and Boston took its lumps with a respectable 96 percent perfect.

The teabags of truth told a different story for the bottom feeders. Los Angeles, with only 79 percent of parched pedestrians paying for tea, ranked last in honesty among all the spied-on cities. 

Sublocationally speaking, that number sinks even lower, to 76 percent, in Venice Beach. However, Brooklyn's Atlantic Terminal took home the grabby gold with 61 percent of people giving up the green in that location.  

Overall, participants were found to be 93 percent honest, with the women slightly upstaging men in the upstanding department.

The complete findings, registered into the National Honesty Index, can be tinkered with and customized to create inventive comparisons by city, hobby, sports team affiliation, facial hair, and a number of other categories.

DATA METHODS

Per Honest Tea


Data collected for the National Honesty Index included geographic locations such as cities and iconic business districts; observable characteristics like gender and hair color; groupings of people including baseball fans, comic book fans, beachgoers, people with kids and more.


"We’ve expanded our social experiment to measure the honesty of observable characteristics, including location," Seth Goldman, President and TeaEO of Honest Tea. "Though our experiment might not pass muster with a social scientist, the results present fascinating and fun insights about the American population."

FULL LIST OF CITIES

  • Oakland, CA 100%
  • Salt Lake City, UT 100%
  • Boulder, CO 99%
  • San Francisco, CA 97%
  • Seaside Heights, NJ 97%
  • Boston, MA 96%
  • Cincinnati, OH 96%
  • Galveston, TX 96%
  • Seattle, WA 96%
  • Las Vegas, NV 95%
  • Washington DC 95%
  • Chicago, IL 94%
  • Austin, TX 93%
  • Cleveland, OH 93%
  • Palo Alto, CA 93%
  • New York, NY 92%
  • Portland, OR 92%
  • Sturgis, SD 92%
  • Tempe, AZ 92%
  • Atlanta, GA 91%
  • New Orleans, LA 91%
  • Atlantic City, NJ 91%
  • San Antonio, TX 91%
  • Denver, CO 90%
  • Anaheim, CA 90%
  • Philadelphia, PA 89%
  • San Diego, CA 87%
  • Charlotte, NC 86%
  • Miami, FL 86%
  • Los Angeles, CA 79%

LEAST HONEST LOCATIONS

  • Atlantic Terminal, Brooklyn, NY 61%
  • Venice Beach, CA 76%
  • Chelsea Piers, NYC 77%
  • 16th St Mall, Denver, CO 80%
  • South Side Chicago 82%

HIGHLIGHTS

  • 93% of participants were honest
  • Salt Lake City and Oakland were both 100% honest
  • Women are 95% honest while men are 91% honest
  • Boston baseball fans are more honest than New York baseball fans
  • Redheads are more honest than blondes and brunettes
  • Motorcyclists were 92% honest while Comic Book fans were 86% honest
  • Men with beards were 96% honest while bald men were 85% honest

BASEBALL TEAM RANKINGS

  • Boston baseball fans 100%
  • San Francisco baseball fans 97%
  • Washington D.C. baseball fans 93%
  • Anaheim baseball fans 90%
  • New York baseball fans 83%
  • Chicago baseball fans 83%

"With the exception of the man who tried to steal our duct tape, it's inspiring to see these results are consistent with our efforts to be refreshingly honest in making our beverages," said Honest Tea VP of Marketing, Peter Kaye, in a news release.

Honest Tea says it will donate the test money collected, plus an additional sum, to the community building nonprofit program City Year.

Do you think Los Angeles is a dishonest city?

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