UK seventh most generous nation on 10th-anniversary CAF index

The CAF World Giving Index, published today, says the US has been the most generous country in the past decade, China the least

The United Kingdom is the seventh most generous country in the world based on surveys dating back over the past 10 years, according to the Charities Aid Foundation.

The CAF World Giving Index, published today, also names the United States as the most generous country and China as the least generous over the past decade.

The index has been produced annually for a decade, and CAF decided to mark the 10th anniversary by analysing aggregate data from 128 countries between 2009 and 2018.

The data is derived from the polling firm Gallup’s world poll, which quizzes people on a range of lifestyle issues, including giving behaviour.

The poll asks if people have helped a stranger, given money or volunteered over the past month and gives marks in each area. It then ranks each country based on its scores.

The report identifies the 10 most generous countries over the decade of research, along with the 10 least generous, as well as the biggest risers and fallers.

Seven of the top 10 nations are among the world's wealthiest nations. The exceptions are Myanmar, Sri Lanka and Indonesia.

But there has been a recent downward trend in giving behaviour in some of the world’s wealthiest places, including the UK, USA, Canada, Ireland and the Netherlands, where levels of individual giving are now lower than they were in the aftermath of the financial crisis.

The UK peaked at fifth in the ranking in 2011 and plummeted to 11th in 2017. It rose to sixth place last year.

Half of the biggest risers on the index are from Asia, with Indonesia leading the way.

Other key findings include that African countries account for seven of the top 10 places where people are most likely to help a stranger, nearly 20 per cent of all adults in the world volunteer, with the highest rate in Sri Lanka, and people from Myanmar are the most likely to have donated money to charity.

Practising Buddhists account for 90 per cent of Myanmar's population and 99 per cent of them are followers of the Therevada branch of the religion, which mandates giving.

John Low, chief executive of CAF, an international charity that helps people and companies to give worldwide, said the analysis "created what we hope will serve as a roadmap to continue to grow giving in all its forms across the globe".

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