Surprising trends from the 2014 World Giving Index

Since 2010 the Charities Aid Foundation (CAF) has published the annual World Giving Index, which looks at charitable behaviour in 135 countries. The report is based on more than a million interviews conducted by Gallup since 2005/06, as part of their World Poll survey.

What are the top giving countries around the world? The answers may surprise you. Indeed, eleven G20 countries are ranked outside of the World Giving Index Top 50.

Surprising trends from the 2014 World Giving Index

The World Giving Index score is based on an average of three measures of giving behaviour - the percentage of people who in a typical month donate money to charity, volunteer their time, and help a stranger. The three behaviours are also looked at on an individual basis within the report.

This year’s report shows that giving is more than just about wealth, with only five G20 countries represented in the World Giving Index Top 20. Of the fifteen countries with the largest increase between their 2013 giving score and their five-year average score, only one is classified as a high income country by the World Bank. Perhaps most illustrative of these trends is of that the United States shares the top spot with Myanmar.

The report includes:

  • analysis of levels of giving worldwide
  • an index of all countries ranked by their average on the three behaviours
  • insight into fluctuations in the three giving behaviours
  • recommendations for what governments around the world can do to enhance giving

For the sake of comparison, South Africa ranks 34th -- ahead of France (90th), Belgium (52nd) and Taiwan (47th). SA shares the 34th spot with Slovenia, Tajikistan, and Uganda.