The United States has been ranked as the most generous country in the world in a study that analyzed data from 128 different countries.
The U.K.-based nonprofit Charities Aid Foundation published its tenth edition of the World Giving Index report, which displays countries’ charitable habits across the globe over the past decade.
“In taking a step back and looking at giving trends over 10 years, we have created what we hope will serve as a roadmap to continue to grow giving in all its forms across the globe,” CAF Chief Executive, Sir John Low, said according to the nonprofit’s website.
“There are areas of concern, but also key moments of hope in parts of the world that have overcome true hardship.”
So what exactly makes one country more generous than another? Is it wealth? Religion? Cultural norms?
CAF says it’s none of those things.
“There is no one trait that points to a country’s generosity,” the report read. “Top performing countries represent a wide range of geographies, religions, cultures and levels of wealth — what they all have in common is simply an inspiring willingness to give.”
The study used data collected by Gallup from 2008 to 2018 to determine how generous a country is based on three questions.
“Have you done any of the following in the past month: helped a stranger, or someone you didn’t know who needed help, donated money to a charity or volunteered your time to an organisation?”
Over 1.3 million individuals participated, which helped CAF rank the 128 countries from most generous to least.
The top three generous countries according to the new study are the United States, 58 percent, Myanmar, 58 percent, and New Zealand, 57 percent.
The study showed no significant difference between the generosity between men and women but did determine that as people get older, despite their gender, they are more likely to help and stranger and donate money.
Although the United States ranked as the most generous country overall, it ranked third most likely to help a stranger, eleventh most likely to donate money and fifth most likely to volunteer time.
The study also showed that while the U.S. ranked as the top country in the past decade, there has been a decrease in the country’s generosity since 2014.
CAF also noted that the 2017 tax haul may affect Americans’ likelihood to donate money because millions of Americans are “no longer claiming a specific charitable deduction for their donations through their tax return.”
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