UK sixth in league table of most charitable countries

The UK has climbed two places to sixth in a league table of the most charitable countries in the world, according to research by the Charities Aid Foundation.

The World Giving Index 2013 ranks 135 countries based on the proportion of people who give money to charity, volunteer and help strangers.

Researchers at Gallup surveyed more than 155,000 people worldwide during 2012 for the report, which is the fourth to be published by CAF.

After falling to eighth from fifth in last year’s report, the UK has climbed back to sixth place and had the second highest proportion of people who said they give money to charity, which was 76 percent.

Only Myanmar scored higher than the UK for the proportion of people giving money to charity. The south-east Asian country is the highest-ranked new entrant in the index, in joint second place with 85 percent of those surveyed saying they gave money to charity.

The survey found that levels of volunteering in the UK increased by three percentage points to 29 percent in this year’s report. The proportion of people who helped a stranger in a typical month was also up, by nine percentage points to 65 percent.

Overall, the US was found to be the most generous country in the world, reclaiming the top spot after coming fifth last year. The US was followed by Canada, Myanmar and New Zealand in joint second place, followed by Ireland in fifth place. Australia, which was ranked first last year, fell to seventh place, followed by the Netherlands, Qatar and Sri Lanka.

Overall, the world became a more generous place last year, the report says. The average percentage of people donating money, volunteering time and helping strangers all grew in 2012 compared with the previous year, despite a fall in the rate of growth of the global economy from 4 percent to 3.2 percent.

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