03 October 2016
How generous is YOUR country? Burma is the most charitable while the UK and US drag their feet
The Charities Aid Foundation surveyed 150,000 people in 145 countries to compile its 'generosity league'. Those in Burma gave more money and time while citizens in Iraq were the most likely to help a stranger. Burma was followed by far wealthier nations with the US in second place followed by New Zealand, Canada, Australia, the UK, the Netherlands and Sri Lanka.....
They may be the wealthiest countries in the world, but when it comes to generosity, the G20 nations could learn a thing or two from lowly Burma.
The tiny Asian state has been ranked the most generous place in the world in a global survey of charitable donations and works.
More people living there give money to charity than anywhere else in the world while they also donate more of their time.
Burma, also known as Myanmar, came top of the 2015 World Giving Index as its citizens donated money more often and gave more of their time than any other nation. Only five of the G20 nations appear in the top 20 listing for generosity
Despite having spent more than 50 years under the rule of a military Junta, the emerging democratic state of Burma, also called Myanmar, came top of the World Giving Index. It was followed by far wealthier nations with the US in second place followed by New Zealand, Canada, Australia, the UK, the Netherlands and Sri Lanka. Compiled by the Charities Aid Foundation, the World Giving Index estimates that more than 1.4 billion people around the world donated money to charity in 2015
Despite being torn apart over the past decade by war, Iraq was ranked as the place where most people will help a stranger.
It was followed by the war-torn country of Liberia, where 78 per cent of people helped a stranger.
The World Giving Index was compiled after 1,000 people aged 15-plus in 145 countries were asked whether they had given money, given time or helped a stranger in the past month
Burma came out as the most generous country in terms of donating money, followed by Thailand (illustrated). Giving is central to the Buddhist beliefs held in both countries
The World Giving Index surveys 1,000 people in 145 countries around the world to get an idea of how much money and time people are donating to others. The map above shows those countries that performed well in red and poorly in blue People living in Britain were the fourth most likely to have given money to charity.
In 2014 Burma and the US shared the top slot for overall generosity, but after charitable donations dipped in the US, it slipped into second place.
The index found that 92 per cent of people in Burma said they had given cash to charity.
Giving is central to the Buddhist beliefs of Burma and neighbouring Thailand, which also scored highly.
IS THIS THE BRAIN'S GENEROSITY SPOT?
Scientists claim to have zeroed in on the brain region responsible for generosity.
They found a small region known as the subgenual anterior cingulate cortex in the centre of the brain - known to play a role in depression - lights up when people are empathetic.
The findings could provide new insight into people with psychopathy and pathological antisocial behaviour.
By scanning the brains of people as they carried out tasks, researchers at the University of Oxford and University College London were able to pinpoint an area of the brain involve with generosity and learning.
They focused on prosocial behaviours, those which benefit other people and which are thought to be important in how we interact with one another and in social bonding.
Researchers claim to have uncovered a brain region responsible for generosity, called the sgACC (highlighted green)
However it appears time is considered more valuable than money, with just 50 per cent of citizens volunteered their time in the country.
Yet despite this, it still outranked other countries for volunteering with Sri Lanka and Liberia following it on the table.
A statement by the Charities Aid Foundation said: ‘Some of the world’s most generous countries are among the most deprived.
More people in Myanmar gave up their time to volunteer than any other country, followed by people in Sri Lanka and war-torn Liberia (illustrated)
The Index has been compiled every year since 2008. The graph above shows the countries that have been most improved since 2013
‘The G20, which represents the world’s largest economies, accounts for only five of the top 20 countries in the CAF World Giving Index.’
The report also found that for the first time since 2008, men are more likely to give money than women.
But the biggest surprise was Iraq replacing the US at the head of the table for helping strangers.
Reporting on the index, New Scientist website says: ‘It is remarkable that the Iraqis continue to exhibit such generosity amidst ongoing security concerns.
‘Indeed, it may even be that the recent increase in helping a stranger is a response to growing need.’
Burundi was named the least generous nation, with China second from bottom.
Surprisingly, despite having been torn apart by war over the past decade, Iraq came out on top when looking at people who helped a stranger, followed by Liberia (illustrated)
Many of the poorer countries around the world outperformed larger and wealthier countries, as illustrated in this map showing the relative rankings