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GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (Jan. 28, 2016)—The Acton Institute made another strong showing in a leading ranking of global think tanks which showed the Grand Rapids-based research and educational institution among the best organizations of its kind in the United States and abroad. Acton’s new Argentina subsidiary in Buenos Aires, Instituto Acton, made its first appearance among the “best independent think tanks” category. The University of Pennsylvania’s Think Tanks and Civil Societies Program (TTCSP) released its 2015 Global Go-To Think Tanks Report today.

Highlights from the 2015 University of Pennsylvania report:

  • Acton Institute is 9th (out of 90) in the Top Social Policy Think Tanks ranking (9th in 2014).
  • Acton Institute is 29th (out of 75) in the Top Think Tanks in the United States (29th in 2014).
  • In Top Think Tanks Worldwide, Acton ranks 155th (out of 175) (previously unranked).
  • 10th in Best Advocacy Campaign (11th in 2014) for PovertyCure.
  • 17th (out of 61) in Best Think Tank Conference (17th in 2014) for Acton University.
  • Instituto Acton was ranked 100th (out of 144) Best Independent Think Tanks.

The Think Tank & Civil Societies Program maintains comprehensive data on more than 6,500 think tanks worldwide, of those more than half are considered in the ranking, but fewer than 300 organizations make it into the final report. Free market think tanks had a strong presence on the report this year, taking top spots in several categories in the U.S. and internationally.

While the TTCSP has been in existence for more than 25 years, this is the program’s 9th ranking report. James G. McGann, director of the program said that the goal of this research and report is “to increase the profile and performance of think tanks and raise the public awareness of the important role think tanks play in governments and civil societies around the globe.”

The program has a rigorous ranking criteria which includes: the “quality and commitment of the think tank’s leadership;” the “quality, number, and reach of its publications;” the think tank’s “reputation with policymakers;” its “media reputation;” its “ability to produce new knowledge;” “financial stewardship;” and the organization’s “impact on society.”

The Go-To Think Tank Report also included some interesting facts about think tanks: 30 percent of all think tanks are located in North America and 27 percent are in Europe. The United States has the most think tanks with 1,830, followed by China with 429. In the United States, Washington, D.C., has the most of any state or district with 396 and Michigan is home to 30 other think tanks besides Acton.

Read the full report here.

About the Acton Institute

With its commitment to pursue a society that is free and virtuous, the Acton Institute for the Study of Religion and Liberty is a leading voice in the national environmental and social policy debate. The Acton Institute is uniquely positioned to comment on the sound economic and moral foundations necessary to sustain humane environmental and social policies.

The Acton Institute is a nonprofit, ecumenical think tank located in Grand Rapids, Michigan. The Institute works internationally to "promote a free and virtuous society characterized by individual liberty and sustained by religious principles."

Interviews with Institute staff may be arranged by contacting John Couretas at (616) 454-3080 or at