The UK has dropped from sixth to eighth place in the Charities Aid Foundation World Giving Index 2016, with donations down on last year’s figure.
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.”