Who are the most polite people in the world?

New Yorkers, of course!

Having been to New York a number of times, I would say that while New Yorkers can be gruff, I have found them to be some of the most well mannered citizens that I have met. I wasn’t surprised to see that they came out on top.

As someone who lives in Toronto, I was also happy to see us come in third.

The article appeared in the Canadian edition of Reader’s Digest, which may be why there is more of a Canadian angle to the story. But it is global, and it is worth reading.

See How Polite Are We?

(Pointer from andrewSullivan.com)

5 responses to “Who are the most polite people in the world?

  1. This interesting, especially since no Japanese cities made the list.

    In living here almost a year, I found Tokyoites to be very respectful (ie. always say excuse me and greet you) and well mannered (ie. do not eat or speak on their cell phones in crowded public areas such as subways) – in other words, polite. Could be a cultural or language gap I wonder? Or maybe Japan was not sampled (not mentioned at all in the survey report).

    I am also surprised that NY was rated higher than TO. Maybe a political move since this was a Canadian edition 😛

  2. smartpeopleiknow

    Good point!

    Also I wondered about this survey, since so many Asian countries seem to rank lower. My take is that different cultures have different views of what makes up good manners and politeness. For example, when I was in Vienna, everyone in the shops made a point of saying goodbye to you when you left the store. Few in Toronto do this. I don’t think this makes the Viennese more polite than Torontonians: just different.

  3. it’s most likely cuz i lived there for 12 years! =)

  4. It is interesting that you suggest that Toronto (20% of Canada’s population) is how the rest of the population is perceived. Consider the Atlantic provinces and particularly NL and the western provinces, then in think Canada would come out better on the pole.

    • smartpeopleiknow

      Good point! The survey looked at people in various cities in the world. I think you could argue that if they looked to smaller Canadian cities, we might do better.