The Anglosphere Is Very Charitable

Besides being #1 at jailing people, the US is also number one at charity: the Charities Aid Foundation did a survey (PDF) in which they asked people if they donated money or time, or helped a stranger in the prior month. While America won the prize, the interesting thing is the top ten list:

  1. USA
  2. Ireland
  3. Australia
  4. New Zealand
  5. UK
  6. Netherlands
  7. Canada
  8. Sri Lanka
  9. Thailand
  10. Laos

Besides the Dutch, who pretty much universally speak English, the top seven countries are all the English-speaking former colonies of the British Empire, collectively known as the Anglosphere. Given their histories, if members of the Anglosphere are cultural brothers, the Netherlands is a close cousin.

Also, how charitable a country is has nothing to do with how wealthy it is: only 5 of the 20 richest countries made it into the top 20 most charitable. Here are the top ten global economies, along with their charitableness ranking:

  1. USA: 1
  2. China: 140
  3. Japan: 105
  4. India: 91
  5. Germany: 26
  6. Russia: 130
  7. UK: 5
  8. Brazil: 85
  9. France: 80
  10. Italy: 104

Looking at their economies per capita, countries with richer individuals tend to give more to charity, but it still doesn’t explain why countries with very low per-capita income like Sri Lanka, Thailand and Laos are very charitable, while ones with richer citizens, like France, Italy and Japan, are not. Religion doesn’t seem to play a role in it either.

A bone to the dog is not charity. Charity is a bone shared with the dog, when you are just as hungry as the dog. (Jack London)

From The Charities Aid Foundation (PDF) and NPR


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