The World Giving Index, the largest study ever carried out into charitable behavior across the globe, has found that happier people are more likely to give money to charity than those who are wealthy. The survey was conducted by the U.K.’s Charity Aid Foundation (CAF).
The Index used a Gallup survey on the charitable behavior of people in 153 countries representing 95% of the world’s population. The survey asked people whether they had given money to charity in the last month and to rank how happy they are with life on a scale of one to ten. For all countries CAF compared the strength of the relationship between giving with both a nation’s GDP and the happiness of its population. CAF found that the link between happiness and giving is stronger than the link between wealth and giving.
The study also measured two other types of charitable behavior alongside giving money – volunteering time and helping a stranger. The Index combines the levels of each charitable behavior to produce a ranking of the most charitable nations in the world.
The top 5 countries in the study: 1. Australia; 2. New Zealand; 3. Canada; 4. Ireland; 5. Tied between USA and Switzerland. The UK was listed as eighth. Israel doesn’t even make the cut.
Malta was found to be the country with the largest percentage of the population (83%) giving money; the people of Turkmenistan are the most generous with their time (61%) and Liberia was top of the list for helping a stranger (76%).