World's Most Generous People? Not Us
Aussies, Kiwis top philanthropy index
By Jane Yager, Newser Staff
Posted Sep 9, 2010 7:00 AM CDT
Updated Sep 12, 2010 5:30 PM CDT
Just 39% of Americans volunteer.   (GLOBE NEWSWIRE)

(Newser) – Home to the world's biggest coral reef and most poisonous snake, Australia now boasts another superlative: the most generous people in the world. The Land Down Under came out on top in the latest Gallup World Giving Index, which ranks countries' philanthropy on the basis of individual donations, volunteer time, and willingness to help strangers. The US tied with Switzerland for fifth place, behind New Zealand, Canada, and Ireland.

The Gallup poll also noted that the happiest countries, rather than the wealthiest, donate most, and that older people donate more than younger ones. In the US, 60% of us donate to charity, 39% volunteer, and 65% help strangers. US philanthropy fell almost 5% this year because of the recession, a spokeswoman for the poll told the Christian Science Monitor.

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Sep 12, 2010 9:27 PM CDT
What about ranking how well governments treat their own citizens?
Sep 12, 2010 7:23 PM CDT
This is a completely biased article. If you actually look into a more relevant statistic for countries, look into the amount of foreign aid given by country. The US comes in at $12.9 billion a year, more than 30% higher than any other country (Japan being #2). In that US citizens pay taxes, elect officials, and endorse the use of government funds to help other countries in times of distress, I would say that qualifies US citizens (well I guess just working, tax paying citizens) as the most benevolent in the world. For examples, see every major disaster in recent history, especially Haiti. I would say disaster relief is more important than donating to local charities (though I in no way intend to disparage those that do). Let's have some reporting that honestly looks at issues instead of constantly painting America as the bad guy. We are the most benevolent, charitable country in the history of the world.
Sep 12, 2010 7:02 PM CDT
funny, no muslim nations made the list?