Global Trends in Generosity

“No one has ever become poor by giving.” ―Anne Frank

Like almost everything else, the idea of “giving back” varies across cultures. The CAF (Charities Aid Foundation) World Giving Index, now in its eighth edition, looks at how and why people around the world give to charity based on data from 139 countries, which represents an incredible 95% of the world’s population. Each country is measured only by the charitable activities (e.g. helping a stranger, donating money, volunteering time) of the general population. Some interesting insights from the most recent report:

Top 10 Countries

The top 10 countries in giving behaviors were: Myanmar, Indonesia, Kenya, New Zealand, United States of America, Australia, Canada, Ireland, United Arab Emirates and the Netherlands. The report cites the high proportion of people donating money in Myanmar as its reason for placing at the top of the rankings. It says this is likely due to the prevalence of small, frequent acts of giving in support of those living a monastic lifestyle.

Developed vs. Developing Countries

The charitable activity that people in developed countries are most likely to engage in is donating money (40%). However, those in developing countries are most likely to help a stranger (52%). Volunteering time achieves similar participation levels across both the developed (23%) and developing (21%) nations. 


Africa is the only continent to see an increase in all three giving behaviors when compared to its five-year average score. Giving in general was down across the globe. As a result, every Western country in the top 20 had a decreased score this year.


China has one of the highest numbers of people reporting that they have donated money (due to population). However, it still has one of the lowest participation rates in the world (8%). 

Bottom Ten Countries

The bottom ten countries in giving were: Mauritania, Latvia, Serbia, Madagascar, Cambodia, Georgia, Morocco, Lithuania, China, and in last place, Yemen.

Giving need not be restricted to a season. Wherever you are in the world, do your part to help a stranger, donate money, or volunteer time. Challenge the traditional view of the link between wealth and generosity!


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