The UK is the world’s sixth most generous country, back in the top ten after falling to 11th place in last year’s CAF World Giving Index.
One in three people in the UK (33%) said they volunteered in the past month, up from 28% last year, while 68% gave money, up from 64% last year, and 63% helped a stranger, up from 58%.
According to CAF’s 2018 World Giving Index, which surveys 150,000 people worldwide on volunteering, helping strangers, and donating money to charity, Ireland is the only country in Europe that is more generous than the UK, coming in at 5th place. Overall however, Indonesia is the world’s most generous country, replacing Myanmar, which falls to ninth place after four years at the top. Australia and New Zealand take second and third place, followed by the US, while Singapore and Haiti both enter the top 20 for the first time. Iran, Zambia, Germany, and Thailand have all dropped out of the top 20.
Overall globally, more people reported helping a stranger and volunteering with more than half of people in 146 countries (51.1%) saying they helped a stranger, up from 49.6% last year, and 21.1% volunteering, up from 20.8%.
Less however gave money to a charity: the second year this has declined. Thirty-six countries improved their donating money scores by at least three percentage points while 42 countries decreased by the same amount, and several decreased by more.
While last year, every Western country in the top 20 had a lower score than the previous year, this year’s Index shows this decline to have largely reversed. As a group, developed countries saw an improvement across all scores, but more so in terms of donating money and helping strangers.
John Low, Chief Executive of the Charities Aid Foundation, said:
“It is forever humbling to see how people across the world continue to be moved to help others, giving their time, donating money and helping strangers. It is a basic human instinct to lend a helping hand, and it is always amazing to see how people in countries which have suffered conflict and natural disasters are stirred to help those in need.
“It is good news that this year’s CAF World Giving Index shows a continued increase in giving across Africa. It is also encouraging that last year’s decline in western countries seems to have been reversed.
“But we should be concerned that for the second year running there has been a decline in the proportion of people donating money to good causes. It is a reminder to all of us in civil society that we should never take giving for granted.”
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