Back to all press releases

Americans are 92% Honest; Alabama and Hawaii Rank as the Most Honest States

HONEST® Tea’s National Honesty Index Ranks All 50 States and Washington, D.C.

BETHESDA, Md. (July 23, 2013) – America’s honesty has been put to the test! Using data gathered from experiments conducted in all 50 states and Washington, D.C, the National Honesty Index has found that overall, Americans were 92 percent honest with Alabama and Hawaii tying for most honest state.

Beverage company HONEST Tea, which strives to make its products with transparency and honesty, developed the experiment to see how honest people are when it seems no one is looking. The company set up unmanned kiosks stocked with its beverages and offered them for $1 on the honor system.

From July 8-18, 61 total locations throughout the country were tested, with data collected on how many people paid for the beverages. Additionally, data was collected on participants’ characteristics including gender, hair color, hair length, facial hair, and whether or not they were wearing hats and sunglasses.

Some of the Results Include;
• Washington, D.C. was the least honest location in the experiment with 80 percent of participants paying for their beverage.
• Overall, women are more honest than men (95% vs. 91%)—the same percentages in both our 2012 and 2013 tests.
• Unlike last year where redheads were most honest, in 2013 blonds were the most honest (95%) and followed by brunettes (93%) and then redheads (92%).
• The longer your hair, the more honest you are. People with short hair were 91% honest, vs. people with medium and long hair (93% and 94% honest, respectively).
• People in groups (96% honest) tend to be more honest than people on their own (91% honest).

“We’ve conducted our experiment in different cities over the past few years, but this is the first time we’ve conducted the experiment on a national scale,” said Seth Goldman, co-founder and TeaEO of HONEST Tea. “Even though my bicycle was stolen the same day as our D.C. experiment, it’s reassuring to know that 92 percent of Americans will do the right thing even when it seems no one is watching.”

Full State Rankings:

State/City % HONEST
Alabama 100%
Hawaii 100%
Indiana 99%
Maine 99%
Iowa 98%
Nevada 98%
Oklahoma 98%
Tennessee 98%
Alaska 96%
Arkansas 96%
California 96%
Nebraska 96%
New Jersey 96%
North Dakota 96%
Oregon 96%
Washington 96%
Ohio 95%
Vermont 95%
Virginia 95%
Illinois 94%
Minnesota 94%
South Carolina 94%
Wyoming 94%
Colorado 93%
Georgia 93%
Massachusetts 93%
Montana 93%
New Hampshire 93%
Rhode Island 93%
Wisconsin 93%
Florida 92%
Michigan 92%
Missouri 92%
New York 91%
Pennsylvania 91%
Idaho 90%
Kansas 90%
New Mexico 90%
North Carolina 90%
South Dakota 90%
Connecticut 89%
Maryland 89%
Delaware 88%
Utah 88%
Kentucky 87%
Texas 87%
West Virginia 85%
District of Columbia 80%
Louisiana *
Arizona *
Mississippi *
* Not large enough Sample Size
Average 92%

The complete National Honesty Index findings are available at Visitors to the site can use the data to compare the honesty of certain attributes – gender, hair color, hair length, etc. – vs. those of friends, spouses or colleagues, and share their profiles on Facebook or Twitter.

HONEST Tea will donate all of the funds collected to FoodCorps, a nationwide team of leaders that connects kids to real food and helps them grow up healthy.


About Honest Tea
Honest Tea seeks to create and promote great-tasting, healthier, organic beverages and extend economic opportunities to communities in need. Founded in 1998 in Bethesda, MD, Honest Tea is the nation’s top-selling organic bottled tea company specializing in beverages that are Just a Tad Sweet®. Honest Tea’s product lines include: ready-to-drink bottled teas, Honest® Ade and Honest® Kids organic thirst quenchers, Honest® Freshly Brewed iced tea and Honest® Fizz zero calorie sodas. All teas and juice drinks are USDA Organic and all tea leaf varieties are Fair Trade Certified™. In addition to being recognized by the United States Healthful Food Council for helping change the food landscape, Honest Tea is a multi-year winner of awards from the Alliance for Workplace Excellence and is a Montgomery County, MD Certified Green Business. Honest Tea has won Men’s Health “Best Bottled Tea” for the last six years and has been included in Women’s Health magazine’s “125 Best Packaged Foods for Women” for the last three years in a row. Honest Tea is an independent operating unit of The Coca-Cola Company. For more information:

Honest Tea Online:
For the Media: