The Index questioned 148,000 people in 140 countries on whether they had helped a stranger in the past month, volunteered their time or gave money to a good cause as part of Gallup’s World Poll. The results show that 69% of people surveyed in the UK said they had donated money: down from 75% last year. In addition, 61% had helped a stranger compared to 63% last year, and 33% had volunteered, compared to 32% in 2015’s Index. However, despite the decline, the UK holds its position as most generous country in Europe.
Myanmar retained its position as most generous country, with an overall score of 70%. 91% of people in the country said they had donated money, while 63% had helped a stranger, and 55% had volunteered. The US held its second place position in the ranking, with an overall score of 61%, and around three-quarters of people (73%) saying they had helped a stranger.
Malaysia and the Netherlands both drop out of the top 10 this year, while Africa saw a score higher than its five-year average for all three giving behaviours. It also has the most improved overall World Giving Index score this year: three percentage points higher than its five-year average (32% versus 29%).
Globally, for the first time this year, more than half of those surveyed said they had helped a stranger in the month before interview, while volunteering time has also increased this year.
John Low, chief executive of the Charities Aid Foundation, said:
“The generosity of people, even in countries suffering from disaster and turmoil, is truly humbling. It’s amazing that more than half the people in the world said they helped a stranger.
“In every country, people have this in-built desire to give and help others. Governments should encourage that spirt of generosity and create the environment in which a strong civil society can flourish allowing people to reach out to those less fortunate than themselves.”
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