UK returns to Top 20 list of most generous countries

The UK has jumped from 22nd to 17th in a list of the world’s most generous countries.

This year’s Charities Aid Foundation (CAF)’s annual World Giving Index has seen increases for several high-income countries, which had seen a “steep decline in volunteering and giving” over the last four years due to the Covid pandemic.

The research found that globally more people donated to charity and helped a stranger last year than any year over the previous decade. In 2021 four in ten of the world's population took part in a charitable action, according to CAF.

Globally 200m more people donated to charity over the last year, with giving rising by 10% in high-income economies.

In total three billion people helped someone they didn’t know, up by half a billion compared to pre pandemic levels.

According to the latest Index, while the UK is back in the top 20 most generous countries but is still a long way from the sixth place it achieved in 2018’s index.

The US is in third place, while Australia is fourth, New Zealand fifth and Canada is in eighth.

The most generous country is Indonesia, for the fifth year in a row, while Kenya takes second spot.

The index involves data from 119 countries where people are asked whether they have helped a stranger, volunteered or given money to a good cause over the past month.

The only European country in the top 10 is Ukraine, which has risen from 20th to 10th. This is based on data collected prior to Russia’s invasion of the Eastern European country and is based on its increased living standards and the need to support communities during the pandemic.

“Giving takes different forms around the globe, and even the definitions of what constitutes charity and generosity differ across cultures,” said CAF chief executive Neil Heslop.

“Our World Giving Index aims to measure generosity as expressed through three human behaviours. Encouragingly, the overall Index score has increased, indicating that people around the world have been engaging more in generous actions than during the previous year.”

“Against an uncertain economic, social, and political backdrop, the World Giving Index improves our understanding about global giving. Covid-19 has affected the world’s poorest and vulnerable the most.”

He added: “Private donors and businesses are likely to be called upon to fill funding gaps and charities will need to work out how best to direct their limited funding for the greatest impact.

“However, in the wake of two difficult years and with further challenges likely to come, we continue to see great instances of global generosity.”

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