Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Ireland is second place in world in giving

Ireland is the second most giving country in the world according to a new survey.

According to the World Giving Index, the largest study into charitable behaviour across the globe, we come in second place to the United States.  The survey involves 153 countries representing 95% of the worlds' population, (6.96 billion people).

The Index uses data from Gallup's Worldview World Poll and is carried out by the Charities Aid Foundation (CAF) that aims to motivate society to give more.  The report is based on three measures of giving behaviour, viz. giving money, volunteering time, and helping a stranger.  The average across the three criteria gives a country’s overall rating.

This year’s results show that the USA is officially the most charitable nation in the world, moving from fifth place last year to first place this year.  Ireland is the second most charitable country and Australia the third.

The list of the World Giving Index top 20 countries shows that the USA is now measured as being the most charitable country globally, with a WG Index score of 60%.  This is the first time that any country has reached a score of 60%. 

Overall, the World Giving Index demonstrates that the world has become a more charitable place over the last 12 months, with a 2% increase in the global population 'helping a stranger' and a 1% increase in people volunteering.

Ireland has also increased its index ranking, rising to second place, with its percentage score going from 56% to 59% in 2011.  Last year's joint leaders, Australia and New Zealand are now in third and fourth positions respectively, despite their World Giving Index scores actually increasing marginally.

16 of the top 20 countries are the same as in 2010.  The four new countries are Thailand, Morocco, Nigeria and Liberia.  Liberia has highest rise from 39th to 14th place, although Morocco's increase from 33rd to 12th is equally notable.  Nigeria is the country in sub-Saharan Africa with the highest WGI score.

The United Kingdom rose this year on the index from 8th place to 5th place.

Ireland is ranked first for helping a stranger with 65 per cent of those surveyed saying they had done that in the previous month.  In the category, giving money, Ireland came in third place, with 75% of Irish people donating to charity while 38% volunteered their time each month.

Despite the global economic crisis, the world is actually giving more according to CAF.  In 2010, the global average of the three giving behaviours was 31.6% but this rose in 2011 to 32.4%.  CAF also points out, “Like the USA, Ireland has risen up the World Giving Index rankings despite being one of the countries hardest hit by the global economic downturn.”

The survey found that women gave more money, but men were more generous with their time.  Those over 50 scored a greater percentage when it came to volunteering and giving money than younger people.

The fact that a country is wealthy is no guarantee that it will be generous in giving.  Norway came in 32nd place, Sweden in 40th, the United Arab Emirates in 47th place, Japan at 105th and China in 140th place.