One of the Poorest Nations Now Tops US as World’s Most Charitable

One of the Poorest Nations Now Tops US as World’s Most Charitable

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Giving increased across the world in 2014 and, despite economic uncertainty, the encouraging news shows people are even more willing to donate money that in previous years.

The world’s most charitable people live in Myanmar, according to the Charities Aid Foundation’s World Giving Index. The Asian country tied the United States the previous year because they gave so much to charity, volunteered their time, and so often helped strangers. Myanmar surged to the top of the latest list, released at the end of 2015, with strong gains, even as American volunteerism was up.

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A strong culture of Buddhism pervades the Myanmar society where 92% of people who were surveyed said they donated to charity in 2014. Half of those polled reported doing volunteer work.

When the global goodness is added all together for the 145 countries surveyed, one-third of the world’s population gave money to charity last year — that’s 1.4 billion people, an 11% increase over 2013. Nearly half the people on the planet said they had helped a stranger in need.

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Here are the top ten charitable nations on this year’s index, along with the percentage of their people who contributed:

1. Myanmar

92% Donated money; 60% Volunteered time; 55% Helped a stranger

Gawdawpalin_Temple_Bagan_Myanmar_CC Jialiang Gao
Photo by Jialiang Gao, CC

2. United States of America

76% Helped a stranger; 63% Donated money; 44% Volunteered time

statue-of-liberty-CC Ronile
Photo by Ronile CC

3. New Zealand

73% Donated money; 65% Helped a stranger; 45% Volunteered time

Photo by Swisscan CC
Photo by Swisscan CC

4. Canada

69% Helped a stranger; 67% Donated money; 44% Volunteered time

Canada-maple-leaves-on-boys-face-cc-Anirudh_Koul
Photo by Anirudh Koul CC

5. Australia

72% Donated money; 66% Helped a stranger; 40% Volunteered time

Sydney Opera House-Flickr -Hai Linh Truong , CC
Photo by Hai Linh Truong CC

6. United Kingdom

75% Donated money; 72% Volunteered time; 63% Helped a stranger

London-flags-city-cc-Aurelien_Guichard-750px
Photo by Aurelien Guichard CC

7. Netherlands

73% Donated money; 59% Helped a stranger; 36% Volunteered time

netherlands-CC-nicola-albertini
Photo by Nicola Albertini CC

8. Sri Lanka

60% Helped a stranger; 59% Donated money; 48% Volunteered time

Kandy-stri-lanka-CC-ronsaunders47
Photo by Ron Saunders47 CC

9. Ireland

67% Donated money; 59% Helped a stranger; 41% Volunteered time

st-patricks-day-albany-CC-sebastien_barre-750px
Photo by Sebastien Barre CC

10. Malaysia

62% Helped a stranger; 58% Donated money; 37% Volunteered time

seven Malaysian friends feed flood victims-Familyphoto

Back in 2010, Sri Lanka was the only Asian country to earn a spot in the top ten list.

This year, some of the biggest improvements were recorded in countries that were dealing with adversity. Donations were up in war-torn Ukraine and in the flood-ravaged countries of Eastern Europe.

“The world is becoming a more generous place,” CAF Chief Executive John Low said. “It is humbling to see how countries which have suffered adversity continue to score highly, with increasing numbers of people giving in some instances.”

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CAF assembles the annual index from surveys the Gallup Organization conducts in 145 countries. Republish
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Photo (top) by Tom Tranuf, CC

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