UK is the world's fifth most charitable country

World Giving Index 2011 shows 79 per cent of people donated in the past month

World giving
World giving

The United Kingdom is the fifth most charitable country in the world, according to new figures from the Charities Aid Foundation.

The World Giving Index 2011, which ranks 153 countries according to three measures of charitable behaviour, shows the UK rose three places from last year’s positions.

Researchers asked more than 150,000 people worldwide whether they had given money, volunteered or helped a stranger in the past month. The USA topped the index with Ireland second and Australia third.

The proportion of people worldwide who said they had helped a stranger was up 2 percentage points to 47 per cent in 2011, and those who volunteered was up 1 percentage point to 21 per cent.

However, people who said they had given to charity in the past month was down from 30 per cent in 2010 to 29 per cent this year.

The global average of the three activities was 32.4 per cent, up from 31.6 per cent last year.

UK residents were the second most generous country in giving money to charity, with 79 per cent of people saying they had done so in the past month. Thailand was in first place with 85 per cent.

Twenty-eight per cent of UK people said they volunteered in the past month, placing it in 32nd place overall, and 63 per cent said they had helped a stranger, which was joint 70th.

Turkmenistan had the highest volunteering levels and Liberia was best for helping a stranger.

John Low, chief executive of CAF, said the figures showed "just how deep-seated the idea of charity and charitable giving is in our society".

"It is amazing that even during these tough economic times an overwhelming majority of the UK population gives to charity each month," he said.

"However, there is always more that can be done. Creating an even stronger culture of giving in the UK will require ongoing commitment and effort by government, business and charities."

The top 10:

1  USA

2  Ireland

3  Australia

4  New Zealand

5  United Kingdom

6  Netherlands

7  Canada

8  Sri Lanka

9 Thailand

10 Laos

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