The Most Honest Cities in the World

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Reader’s Digest conducted a social experiment to find out which cities around the world are the most honest.

They went to 16 different cities and “dropped” 12 wallets around various locations in each one. Each wallet was supplied with the “owners” name, cell phone number, a family photo, business cards, coupons, and US$50 in the country’s currency.

The most honest city found was Helsinki, Finland where 11 out of 12 people returned the wallets. Lasse Luomakoski, a 27-year-old businessman, found one of the wallets that was left downtown. He said, “Finns are naturally honest. We are a small, quiet, closely-knit community. We have little corruption, and we don’t even run red lights.”

But on the other end of the spectrum, Lisbon, Portugal was found to be the least honest country where only 1 out of the 12 wallets was returned. The one person that returned the wallet was vacationing from Holland so they weren’t even from Lisbon.

Overall, there were 192 wallets dropped and 90 of them were returned back to their owners, so we may conclude that 47% of the world is honest. But like many experiments, this experiment has many variables, like gender, location dropped, and time. If this experiment had been done on a different day it could yield completely different results. What this does show is that is no matter where you go in the world you are going to find honest and dishonest people…

Final Results:

Helsinki, Finland – 11 out of 12 wallets returned

Mumbai, India – 9 out of 12 wallets returned

Budapest, Hungary – 8 out of 12 wallets returned

New York City, U.S.A. – 8 out of 12 wallets returned

Moscow, Russia – 7 out of 12 wallets returned

Amsterdam, the Netherlands – 7 out of 12 wallets returned

Berlin, Germany – 6 out of 12 wallets returned

Ljubljana, Slovenia – 6 out of 12 wallets returned

London, England – 5 out of 12 wallets returned

Warsaw, Poland – 5 out of 12 wallets returned

Bucharest, Romania – 4 out of 12 wallets returned

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil – 4 out of 12 wallets returned

Zurich, Switzerland – 4 out of 12 wallets returned

Prague, Czech Republic – 3 out of 12 wallets returned

Madrid, Spain – 2 out of 12 wallets returned

Lisbon, Portugal – 1 out of 12 wallets returned

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About Author

Joey Bonura

Joey Bonura is from Louisville, Kentucky and moved to Panama more than two years ago to finish his degree in International Business. He enjoyed the hot tropical weather and the lifestyle on offer in Panama City so much that he decided to make this his permanent residence.