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The most charitable country

By Judy Martel · Bankrate.com
Friday, January 3, 2014
Posted: 2 pm ET

Americans are well-known for their generosity and willingness to respond to those in need. If we're criticized for anything, it's for donating more of our money than our time. But a new generation may be changing that dynamic, according to the most recent World Giving Index.

Globally, generosity is on the increase.

Globally, generosity is on the increase.

The index ranks 135 countries based on survey results of three giving behaviors in 2012: willingness to help a stranger, giving money to charity and volunteering time. The average of all three behaviors provides the ranking.

The U.S. tops the list of most generous countries overall, although it doesn't rank highest in either donating time or money. Of all the nationalities, Americans (77 percent) were the most likely to help a stranger. Sixty-two percent of Americans donated money to charity in 2012 and 45 percent volunteered time.

But across the globe, volunteerism has surged among young people. Since 2011, the largest increase in volunteering has been among those aged 15 to 24. The surveys indicate that over the past five years, this group has gone from least likely to volunteer to second-most likely to volunteer.

Myanmar was the country with the highest proportion of its population giving money to charity (85 percent). Overall, that country came in third on the list of most generous countries. Residents of Turkmenistan (57 percent) were the most willing to volunteer time.

While overall the world became a more generous place in all three giving behaviors, the driver was the growth in the number of people willing to help a stranger, according to the survey. An additional 200 million people said they helped a stranger in 2012, more than double the growth of those donating time or money to charity. Men were more likely to help a stranger than women, who were more likely to give money to charity.

After the U.S., the most generous country overall in 2012 was Canada. Third was Myanmar, followed by New Zealand and Ireland.

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March 29, 2014 at 10:24 pm

The statistics stink in this story. The plundering countries that still owe the plundered trillions cannot be the most generous. The countries with overt racism still at the base of it's wealth intake cannot be the most generous. The military is everywhere because it is easier to plunder and dictate with such power everywhere and the only reason the military is there is because this country takes the wealth of the working and poor and uses it to futher empower and enrich the 1% Anglo-elite their cohorts and their minions of ignorant lackies! The real generous countries are the countries this country embargoes! The real good and generous countries are the ones this country plunders and forbids them to practice democracy and care for their people! The lies we are told are mindbending! And so the minds of the people are quite bent!

March 29, 2014 at 2:58 pm

not when it comes to caring for it's own citizens (actual citizens)

William Murdoch
March 29, 2014 at 2:51 pm

We may not be the most generous when it comes to giving money or time to charity cases but if you figure in our military presence all over the world and the $54 billion a year we give in foreign aid to almost every country in the world, I think you'll see that we top out way, way above every other country!