Generosity seems to be a dying art these days. However, it’s not completely gone as exemplified by the countries on today’s list. From feeding the poor to welcoming guests, our world needs more generosity, which is why we want to highlight these outstanding countries! Based on the World Giving Index by UK charity CAF America, countries are ranked according to how they perform in three areas – helping strangers, volunteering time, and donating money. These are the 25 most generous countries in the world.
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Guatemala appeared in the top 25 for the first time in 2014 thanks to a strong ranking in the area of volunteering time (13th).
Hovering around the mid twenties for the past 5 years, Finland always has good scores in the areas of volunteering time (25th) and donating money (24th).
Ranked number 1 in volunteering time, as a former Soviet state Turkmenistan has a culture of ‘subbotnik’, which is the giving up of a Saturday to perform volunteer work. In some instances, however, mandatory subbotniks have been implemented which could possibly skew the statistics.
Another country that consistently shows up in the mid-twenties, Cyprus has a strong ranking in the areas of donating money (22nd) and helping strangers (29th)
Consistently ranking in the top 10 for donating money, this is largely due to a high number of Theravada Buddhist monks who receive support from lay devotees.
As of late, Nigeria has gone up in rankings with regards to volunteering time (10th) and it performs strongly in the area of helping strangers (19th).
Jamaica’s strong culture of solidarity ranks it 4th for helping strangers and 20th for volunteering time.
Iran ranks 22nd and 2oth for helping strangers and donating money respectively.
Although its rankings in volunteering time and helping strangers are in the mid 40s and 50s, Denmark is ranked 13th in terms of donating money.
Like Denmark, Austria’s rankings in helping strangers and volunteering time are slightly lower (mid 30s) but it ranks 16th in donating money.
Although it is ranked fairly low in the area of helping strangers (86th), Malta is ranked 2nd in terms of donating money with nearly 78% of its population giving to charity.
Having moved up 18 places in the index, Kenya has consistently ranked strongly in the area of helping strangers (10th). It also ranks 16th in terms of volunteering time and 24th in terms of donating money.
Iceland is another European country that has a mediocre ranking in the area of helping strangers (52nd) and volunteering time (33rd) but comes in at a solid 7th for donating money.
In most developing nations, increasing prosperity does not correlate with a higher proportion of people giving to charity but Indonesia is one of the few exceptions. It ranks 10th in terms of donating money and 13th when it comes to volunteering time.
As with the other European nations we’ve seen so far, Netherlands ranks lower in the area of helping strangers (46th) but has a strong showing when it comes to donating money (7th) and volunteering time (21st).
This is the first year that Bhutan was included in the index and it came onto the scene with a bang. It ranks 9th for volunteering time and 12th for donating money. It’s statistics actually mirror those of many European nations with a slightly lower ranking in the area of helping strangers (46th).
Trinidad and Tobago
Finally, we come back to a country that ranks strongly in the area of helping strangers. Actually, it nearly tops the list at a solid 2nd. Trinidad and Tobago also performed well in the other areas, however, ranking 16th for volunteering time and 21st for donating money.
Following a 26 year civil war that ended in 2009, Sri Lanka’s rankings have risen rapidly. It ranks 3rd in volunteering time and 17th in donating money.
Ranked 4th when it comes to donating money, the UK fares better than its European counterparts in the area of helping strangers (24th)
Following Typhoon Haiyan which impacted the nearby Philippines, Malaysia had one of the largest generosity growth spurts of any country on this list. It went from 71st all the way to 6th. Probably due to a desire to respond to the disaster, Malaysia is now ranked 10th in time spent volunteering, 15th in donating money, and 19th in helping strangers.
Always a top contender, Australia ranked 10th for donating money, 12th for helping strangers, and 16th for volunteering time.
5th in volunteering time, 7th in helping strangers, and 13th when it comes to donating money, together with Australia, New Zealand makes Oceania the most generous continent.
Coming in at 4th for donating money and 10th for volunteering time, it pretty much leads Europe in the helping strangers department (15th).
Ranked 6th for donating money and 5th for volunteering time, Canada almost breaks the top 10 for all three categories but comes in 11th for helping strangers.
United States and Burma (Myanmar)
That’s right, first place is a tie. Where Canada failed, the United States succeeded and is therefore the only country to break the top 10 in all three categories. In helping strangers it’s 1st, in volunteering time it’s 5th, and in donating money it’s 9th. Burma (Myanmar) ranked 1st in donating money, 2nd in volunteering time, but really took a hit when it comes to helping strangers (63rd). Perhaps seeing Burma ranked so high comes as a surprise but the reasoning is the same as for Thailand. Due to one of the highest proportional Buddhist monk populations in the world, the index may be slightly skewed due to the monks receiving their regular donations from lay people.