The UK has moved up three places in the World Giving Index to become the world’s fifth most charitable nation, according to new research published today.
Charities Aid Foundation’s annual survey of national generosity suggests that the USA is the most charitable country, followed by Ireland, Australia, and New Zealand. The UK has moved up from eighth place last year to fifth.
Unsurprisingly, in light of the global economic crisis, this year 1 per cent fewer people around the world said they gave money to a charity during the previous month, but there was a corresponding increase in the proportion of people who said they gave their time to help others. Some 2 per cent more respondents globally said that they have ‘helped a stranger’ and a 1 per cent more said they had volunteered.
The global average of the three giving behaviours - giving money, volunteering time and helping a stranger - in 2011 was 32.4 per cent, compared with 31.6 per cent in 2010.
According to the study, the UK is the second most generous nation globally in monetary terms, with almost four in five people donating to charity each month. The highest-ranked country for giving money is Thailand with 85 per cent of the population having made a donation.
Some 28 per cent of the UK population ‘volunteers time’ each month, while 63 per cent ‘helps a stranger’.
CAF chief executive John Low (pictured) said: "The finding that the UK is the fifth most generous nation in the world, and second in terms of giving money, is excellent news for those who are less fortunate, and shows 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."
The World Giving Index is put together by CAF using Gallup polling information on the charitable behaviour of people in 153 nations and is billed as the largest study of its kind worldwide. The Gallup opinion polls asked more than 150,000 people – representing 95 per cent of the global population – whether they had given money to charity, volunteered time or helped a stranger in the last month.