UK is eighth most charitable nation, says Charities Aid Foundation report

World Giving Index says Australia, New Zealand and Ireland are the three best at giving money, volunteering and helping strangers

The UK is the eighth most charitable nation in the world, according to an assessment published today by the Charities Aid Foundation.

The World Giving Index surveyed 195,000 people in 153 countries on three activities: giving money, giving time and helping a stranger.

Australia, New Zealand and Ireland were found to be the three most charitable nations based on assessments of those three activities.

For giving money, the UK came third, with 73 per cent of the population having donated to charity in the previous month. For helping a stranger, which asked people whether they had helped someone they did not know in the previous month, the UK came 27th. For volunteering it came 29th.

Adults in the UK gave £9.9bn to charity last year, with medical research, hospitals and hospices, and children and young people being the most popular causes, according to a previous report by CAF, UK Giving 2009.

Almost half of the overall top 20 charitable nations in The World Giving Index were developing countries, such as Turkmenistan and Guyana.

Richard Harrison, research director at CAF, said: "While the UK had expected to do well, what’s really interesting is how well some countries that are less affluent have done."

Turkmenistan topped the table for volunteering, with 61 per cent of the population having given time in the previous month. Malta came top for giving money, with 83 per cent of the population having done so in the previous month, and Liberia was top for helping a stranger, with 76 per cent having done so in the previous month.

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