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Which nation is most generous?

By Judy Martel · Bankrate.com
Friday, December 23, 2011
Posted: 4 pm ET

Americans have always been known as being generous. Times of crises bring out the best in us, and we're quick to respond with offers of money and on-the-ground efforts to help.

But a new survey makes it official. According to CAFAmerica's World Giving Index, the U.S. ranks first globally in charitable giving this year, up from fifth place in 2010. Following the U.S., in order, are Ireland, Australia, New Zealand and the United Kingdom.

Among the Americans surveyed, two-thirds said they donated money to charity, 43 percent volunteered their time and 73 percent helped a stranger. The survey is based on 150,000 Gallup interviews with respondents in 153 countries.

Two countries in Africa jumped up the most in the rankings in a year. Liberia rose from No. 39 to No. 14, while Morocco rose from 33 to 12.

David Venne, interim CEO and director of finance at CAFAmerica, said in a press announcement that "in spite of economic hardships and uncertainty in the future, the American spirit is caring and strong, as these survey findings clearly show."

Did you increase your charitable giving in 2011, despite economic uncertainty?

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