UK drops from sixth to seventh in league table of most charitable countries

The World Giving Index 2014, published by the Charities Aid Foundation, shows that 74 per cent of people in the UK gave to charity

Charities Aid Foundation: World Giving Index 2014
Charities Aid Foundation: World Giving Index 2014

The UK is the world's joint-seventh most generous country, according to the Charities Aid Foundation’s World Giving Index 2014, down one place from last year.

The index, published today, is based on data from interviews with more than 130,000 people across the world carried out by the polling company Gallup last year.

The survey of 135 countries gives three percentages; those who in the past month have given money to charity, volunteered their time or helped a stranger.

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

With a score of 64 per cent, the number one position is held jointly by Myanmar and the US, last year's outright top nation. In third place is Canada, followed by Ireland, New Zealand and Australia.

Malaysia and the UK are in joint-seventh position with a score of 55 per cent, and the top 10 is completed by Sri Lanka and Trinidad and Tobago.

CAF's report says Malaysia's rise from 71st position last year could be attributed to its response to Typhoon Haiyan in the nearby Philippines.

The UK section of the survey says that 74 per cent of people had given money in the past month, down from 76 per cent in last year's survey, and 61 per cent had helped a stranger, down from 65 per cent last year; an unchanged 29 per cent had volunteered.

The UK was in sixth place in 2013, and eighth in 2012. The bottom country this year was Yemen, with Venezuela just above it.

The UK's donation figure was the joint-fourth highest, tied with Ireland, behind Myanmar with 91 per cent, Malta with 78 per cent and Thailand on 77 per cent.

The people most likely to help strangers were from the US (79 per cent), Iraq and Trinidad and Tobago (both 75 per cent), and the most volunteering takes place in Turkmenistan (53 per cent), followed by Myanmar (51 per cent) and Sri Lanka (50 per cent).

The report says that global giving has fluctuated in the past five years in line with the global economy; donations dropped in 2009 following the 2008 crisis before recovering in 2010, falling sharply in 2011 then recovering in 2012 and 2013.

However, between 2013 and 2014, the proportion of people giving money dropped marginally.

John Low, chief executive of CAF, said: "It’s great to see the UK continuing to lead the way when it comes to supporting others and the voluntary organisations that form the backbone of our society."

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