Brits are the most generous people in Europe, Charities Aid Foundation survey reveals

Brits are the sixth most generous people in the world
Brits are the sixth most generous people in the world

The UK has risen one place to become the most generous country in Europe and the sixth most generous in the world, according to the Charities Aid Foundation’s World Giving Index 2015.

The sixth edition of the index, published today, is based on data from interviews with more than 150,000 people in 145 countries carried out by the polling company Gallup last year.

The survey established three percentage scores: the proportion of those who in the past month have given money to charity, volunteered their time or helped a stranger.

CAF took an average of those three figures to find an overall score for each country.

With a score of 66 per cent, the number one position is held by Myanmar, which held the spot jointly with the USA last year; 92 per cent of respondents in the south-east Asian country said they had made a donation in the past month. The US fell one place with New Zealand third, followed by Canada and Australia.

The UK took sixth with 57 per cent while the Netherlands, Sri Lanka, Ireland (down five places from last year) and Malaysia rounded off the top 10.

The UK section of the survey says that people were more generous last year than in 2013 on all three of the measures surveyed: 75 per cent of people had given money in the past month, up from 74 per cent in last year's survey; 63 per cent had helped a stranger, up from 61 per cent last year; and 32 per cent had volunteered, up from 29 per cent the previous year.

The UK was in joint seventh place with Malaysia in the 2014 index, when Ireland was rated the most generous country in Europe. The bottom country this year was Burundi, with China, Yemen and Lithuania just above it.

At 75 per cent, the UK’s donation figure was one of the highest in the world, far surpassing the international average of 31.5 per cent.

Globally, people’s generosity increased last year in terms of donations and helping strangers, researchers found, but there was a slight decrease in the proportion of people who said they had volunteered their time.

John Low, chief executive of CAF, said in a statement:  "The UK has a long and proud tradition of being one of the world’s most generous countries, and it is great to see that this spirit of generosity continues to grow."

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