The Most Generous Country in the World Is …

Photo (cc) by KX Studio

Americans are well-known for their generosity. But when you compare the charitable giving in the United States to other nations, one country comes out on top, and it’s not America.

This might surprise you: The most generous country in the world is Myanmar, according to a new report by U.K.-based Charities Aid Foundation (CAF), an international nonprofit organization.

The United States and Myanmar — formerly called Burma, it is beginning to emerge from decades of profound poverty and isolation — shared first place charitable giving honors last year. But the Southeast Asian country surpassed the United States in this year’s giving index, as more Myanmar residents reported donating money to charity in 2014 than in 2013.

“The CAF World Giving Index continually confounds any attempts to define what it is that makes a country generous,” said CAF chief executive John Low in a statement. “Some might expect to see the culture of giving being greatest among the wealthiest nations but, as this year’s report shows, the reality can often be quite the opposite.

The CAF said Myanmar’s strong culture of Theravada Buddhism is the driving force behind its high levels of giving, with 92 percent of Myanmar residents donating money and 50 percent volunteering their time.

“The majority of Myanmarese people are highly devout Theravada Buddhists, regularly giving money and time to ordained monks and nuns, and for the upkeep of temples,” the report concluded.

Myanmar earned an overall score of 66 percent on the giving index, which means that 66 percent of Myanmar’s residents have helped a stranger, given money to charity or volunteered their time in the past year. The United States earned a score of 61 percent.

The CAF’s world giving index, now in its sixth year, is based on survey data for 145 countries compiled by Gallup. The generosity score is based on the number of people who give, not the dollar amount.

According to the CAF, the top 10 most generous countries in the world are:

  1. Myanmar
  2. United States
  3. New Zealand
  4. Canada
  5. Australia
  6. United Kingdom
  7. Netherlands
  8. Sri Lanka
  9. Ireland
  10. Malaysia

Globally, the CAF said more than 1.4 billion people donated money to charity in 2014, which is an increase from 2013.

“The world is becoming a more generous place,” Low said. “It is heartening to see that, even during these times of economic uncertainty across the world, people are increasingly likely to donate money to causes to help others.”

Do you regularly donate money or your time? What do you think of the global generosity ratings? Share your comments below or on our Facebook page.

Disclosure: The information you read here is always objective. However, we sometimes receive compensation when you click links within our stories.

Read Next
5 Monthly Bills You Can Easily Negotiate Down
5 Monthly Bills You Can Easily Negotiate Down

Here’s how to bring down recurring expenses and save hundreds — or even thousands — of dollars each year.

Marooned at Home? Earn Some Cash Playing on Your Computer
Marooned at Home? Earn Some Cash Playing on Your Computer

Earn cash by reading emails, taking surveys, playing games, shopping and signing up for offers through this website.

9 Everyday Problems You Can Solve With Vaseline
9 Everyday Problems You Can Solve With Vaseline

Forget expensive specialty products. Good ol’ petroleum jelly can address many common annoyances.

15 Purchases That Make Life Easier As You Age
15 Purchases That Make Life Easier As You Age

There are many products that can make getting older — or any time of life — a little easier.

7 Ways to Save Money Without Trying
7 Ways to Save Money Without Trying

Saving money doesn’t always mean drudgery and sacrifice. These tools make it easy — sometimes even fun.

View this page without ads

Help us produce more money-saving articles and videos by subscribing to a membership.

Get Started

Most Popular
11 Things Retirees Should Always Buy at Costco
11 Things Retirees Should Always Buy at Costco

This leader in bulk shopping is a great place to find discounts in the fixed-income years.

Over 50? The CDC Says You Need These 4 Vaccines
Over 50? The CDC Says You Need These 4 Vaccines

Fall is the time to schedule vaccines that can keep you healthy — and even save your life.

9 Things You’ll Never See at Costco Again
9 Things You’ll Never See at Costco Again

The warehouse store offers an enormous selection, but these products aren’t coming back.

11 Senior Discounts for Anyone Age 55 or Older
11 Senior Discounts for Anyone Age 55 or Older

There is no need to wait until you’re 65 to take advantage of so-called “senior” discounts.

8 Things You Can Get for Free at Pharmacies
8 Things You Can Get for Free at Pharmacies

In this age of higher-priced drugs and complex health care systems, a trip to the pharmacy can spark worry. Freebies sure do help.

These Are the 4 Best Medicare Advantage Plans for 2020
These Are the 4 Best Medicare Advantage Plans for 2020

Medicare Advantage customers themselves rate these plans highest.

The 10 Most Commonly Stolen Vehicles in America
The 10 Most Commonly Stolen Vehicles in America

A new model parks atop the list of vehicles that thieves love to pilfer.

11 Household Items That Go Bad — or Become Dangerous
11 Household Items That Go Bad — or Become Dangerous

When you get the impulse to stockpile these everyday items, pay close attention to their expiration dates.

7 Ways to Boost Your Credit Score Fast
7 Ways to Boost Your Credit Score Fast

Your financial security might soon depend upon the strength of your credit score.

19 High-Paying Jobs You Can Get With a 2-Year Degree
19 High-Paying Jobs You Can Get With a 2-Year Degree

These jobs pay more than the typical job in the U.S. — and no bachelor’s degree is required.

5 Ways to Get Amazon Prime for Free
5 Ways to Get Amazon Prime for Free

Hesitant to drop $119 a year on an Amazon Prime membership? Here’s how to get it for free.

10 Reasons Why You Should Actually Retire at 62
10 Reasons Why You Should Actually Retire at 62

If you can, here are several good reasons to retire earlier than we’re told to.

3 Ways to Get Microsoft Office for Free
3 Ways to Get Microsoft Office for Free

With a little ingenuity, you can cut Office costs to zero.

14 Things That Are ‘Free’ With Medicare
14 Things That Are ‘Free’ With Medicare

These services could save you money and help prevent costly health problems.

5 Keys to Making Your Car Last for 200,000 Miles
5 Keys to Making Your Car Last for 200,000 Miles

Pushing your car to 200,000 miles — and beyond — can save you piles of cash. Here’s how to get there.

26 States That Do Not Tax Social Security Income
26 States That Do Not Tax Social Security Income

These states won’t tax any of your Social Security income — and in some cases, other types of retirement income.

5 Things That Make Life More Meaningful for Retirees
5 Things That Make Life More Meaningful for Retirees

Retirees agree: These are the things that give them purpose and fulfillment in their golden years.

10 Things You Should Never Do With Bleach
10 Things You Should Never Do With Bleach

Does the pandemic have you reaching for bleach more than ever before? Learn the ins and outs of using this powerful disinfectant.

15 Amazon Purchases That We Are Loving Right Now
15 Amazon Purchases That We Are Loving Right Now

These practical products make everyday life a little easier.

View More Articles

View this page without ads

Help us produce more money-saving articles and videos by subscribing to a membership.

Get Started

Add a Comment

Our Policy: We welcome relevant and respectful comments in order to foster healthy and informative discussions. All other comments may be removed. Comments with links are automatically held for moderation.