Economics

The 10 Most Generous Countries

These 10 countries have the highest percentage of the population donating to charity.

The Charities Aid Foundation is a UK-based organization that supports charity and the people who donate to them. It also compiles an annual report on the most generous countries in the world. The organization ranks 140 countries across the world according to how charitable they are. The aim is to provide insight into the nature of giving around the world. The World Giving Index measures the generosity of three factors, namely the number of people volunteering, helping strangers, and monetary donations. For the latest ranking, CAF surveyed over 145,000 from 139 countries and averaged their response on their participation in any of the three categories. According to the findings, here are the top ten generous countries.

The World's Most Generous Countries

Myanmar

Myanmar has consistently claimed the title for the most generous country in the world for the last four years. Although it is a lower middle-income country with little resources to compete with the superpowers, it confounded the traditional assumption that that ties generosity with wealth. A whopping 91% of the population reported that they had donated money to charity in 2016. Myanmar’s generosity is linked to the popularity of Buddhism in the country. It is common in the country for one to give food, money, and other material support to the monks.

Indonesia and Malta

Coming distant second is Indonesia with 79% of the population giving towards charity and in third place are the Maltese with 73% of the population. Indonesia ranked second for the second consecutive year in terms of money donated was the highest ranked among the G20’s largest economy. Indonesian high ranking may have been as a result of the survey being conducted in the August, the month of Ramadan when most people are expected to give towards charity. Charity donation in Malta was boosted by the tax deductions on donations to cultural sectors.

Iceland, Thailand, and New Zealand

Between 65 and 68% of the populations of Iceland, Thailand, and New Zealand gave towards charity in 2016. Iceland, through non-profit organizations, has set up several charitable organizations such as Iceland Food Charitable Foundation that receive the donation and distribute to the people in need, both locally and abroad. Thailand, one of emerging markets, made a comeback to the top ten and has been focusing on children’s health and education as major areas of support among other areas with 68% of the population donating towards the needy.

Other Top Generous Countries

Netherlands, United Kingdom, Australia, and Canada complete the list of top ten most generous countries with at least 60% of their population donating money towards charity. Canada returned to the top ten in 2016 after missing out in the previous year. However, it recorded the worst ever participation rate in 2016 at 61%.

Top Generous Countries by Number of People

Although Myanmar is the most generous country by the proportion of the population, India had the highest number of people giving towards charity. 265 million people in India donated compared to 34 million people in Myanmar. In fact, Myanmar would rank tenth if the number of people was considered. Indonesia would retain its position with 146 million people donating. About 144 million people in the US donated in monetary form while 91 million Chinese also donated their money towards charity.

The 10 Most Generous Countries

RankCountryPopulation Donating to Charity
1Myanmar91%
2Indonesia79%
3Malta73%
4Iceland68%
5Thailand68%
6New Zealand65%
7Netherlands64%
8United Kingdom64%
9Australia63%
10Canada61%

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