The World's Five Most Honest Cities

Every now and then one of the WR team comes upon some interesting travel related facts, and this one comes care of our leader James DW. He was sent an email describing an experiment conducted by Reader's Digest to find the world's most honest cities, which involved deliberately 'losing' 30 mobile phones in a random selection of cities, then ranking those cities on the percentage of phones returned... Sneaky but effective it would seem. Here's the results:

Lost Mobile

1st. Ljubljana: Coming in as the most honest city with 29 out of 30 phones returned is Slovenia's Ljubljana. Oft maligned by people who think there's a lot of crime against tourists in Eastern Europe, this pretty city is apparently pretty honest as well.

2nd. Toronto: Toronto only had to play second fiddle to Vancouver's Olympics for a short time – it's already back at the top of the travel agenda as the second most honest of those tested, with 28 out of 30 returned. Canadians and Canada-fans won't be surprised though, for years it's been rating highly for quality of life and contentedness of its citizens.

3rd. Seoul: 27 of the 30 phones 'lost' in Seoul were returned. There's been some suggestion that the phones in question weren't good enough to steal in Seoul where the latest technology reigns, but it's also been suggested that the state can be strict, or, and this is my favourite, that nice manners and old fashioned values can never be improved upon by technology.

4th. Stockholm: Stockholm has a pretty good reputation as far as low crime rates go, so some people may have been surprised that four phones went missing, rather than being surprised that 26 were happily returned.

Joint 5th. New York, Mumbai and Manila: New York joint fifth on a list of the world's most honest cities? Apparently so – with only six phones failing to return home after their outing. This is a pretty impressive result considering the number of people who live here, the number of tourists who visit, it's reputation for petty theft and the number of crime programmes that are made here... Mumbai is a similarly pleasant surprise – with 60% of the population struggling to live in the city's slums, a lot of them begging on the street, it doesn't seem to much of a negative assumption to think that more than six phones would be lost, but they weren't! Manila is another city that often gets a bad rap as far as the crime rate goes but obviously doesn't deserve it.

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