US First in Charity Index

World generosity rising overall, despite recession
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 21, 2011 3:19 PM CST
More people globally are helping out others, but fewer are giving money.   (Shutterstock)

(Newser) – Pat yourself on the back America; you’re the most giving nation in the world, at least according to the Charities Aid Foundation. The US jumped from fifth place to first in the second annual World Giving Index (pdf here), with an all-time-high 60% rating. The score is based on Gallup’s World Poll survey, averaging each country’s responses to questions about whether the people had given money to charity, volunteered their time, or helped a stranger in need.

The US rose between 4 and 8 percentage points in all three categories to claim the top spot. Globally, however, giving money declined slightly, though that was made up for by increases in the other two categories. The report also notes that prosperous nations weren’t always the most generous; of the 20 nations with the highest GDP, only five made the top 20 most charitable list. Here’s the top half of the list:

  1. United States
  2. Ireland
  3. Australia
  4. New Zealand
  5. United Kingdom
  6. Netherlands
  7. Canada
  8. Sri Lanka
  9. Thailand
  10. Lao People’s Democratic Republic

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