New global league table of giving shows world becomes more generous than ever

25 October 2016

More people than ever before are helping others in countries across the globe, according to the CAF World Giving Index, the unique global index of generosity.

For the first time since the index began, more than half of people in 140 countries said they helped a stranger, and record numbers of people volunteered their time. The numbers of people worldwide giving money was very slightly up.

Overall, Myanmar was the most generous country on Earth for the third year running. The United States was second, making it the most generous nation in the western world, followed by Australia.

The index is published one month before #GivingTuesday – November 29 – the global day of giving when people are asked to give their time, money or voice to a good cause.

The CAF World Giving Index, the leading comparative study of global generosity, records the number of people who helped a stranger in the past month, volunteered their time or gave money to a good cause. This year 148,000 people in 140 countries were surveyed as part of the Gallup World Poll.

Findings include:

  • Africa is the continent which has seen the biggest increase in generosity in the past year
  • Disasters and adversity continue to inspire acts of generosity. This year’s index shows high levels of generosity in Iraq and Libya in terms of helping a stranger despite bloody conflicts, and Nepal, which achieves its highest index ranking following the devastating earthquakes of 2015
  • Only five of the G20 appear in the top 20 of the World Giving Index.

The index, now in its seventh year, shows high levels of generosity in some countries experiencing civil war, conflict and unrest, showing how the human urge to help others comes through even in some of the most troubled nations on Earth.

In many countries, men are significantly more likely than women to engage in volunteering or helping a stranger. However, at the global level, there is little difference between men and women when it comes to donating money.

The CAF World Giving Index top 10

Country CAF World Giving Index Ranking CAF World Giving Index Score (%) Helping a stranger score (%) Donating money score (%) Volunteering time score (%)
Myanmar 1 70 63 91 55
United States of America 2 61 73 63 46
Australia 3 60 68 73 40
New Zealand 4 59 61 71 44
Sri Lanka 5 57 61 61 49
Canada 6 56 65 65 38
Indonesia 7 56 43 75 50
United Kingdom 8 54 61 69 33
Ireland 9 54 56 66 40
United Arab Emirates 10 53 75 63 21

John Low, Chief Executive of the Charities Aid Foundation, an international charity which helps people and companies give worldwide, said:

“The generosity of people, even in countries suffering from disaster and turmoil, is truly humbling. It’s amazing that more than half the people in the world said they helped a stranger.

“In every country, people have this in-built desire to give and help others. Governments should encourage that spirt of generosity and create the environment in which a strong civil society can flourish allowing people to reach out to those less fortunate than themselves.

“Unconditional gifts of time and money are a life changing force for good in the world. As people become more prosperous and economies grow stronger we have an opportunity to build an ever stronger culture of giving right across the world.”

Prof Dr Aung Tun Thet, Economic Advisor to the President of Myanmar and member of the President's National Economic and Social Advisory Council, said:

"Myanmar has been consistently ranked at the top of CAF World Giving Index in recent years. The results demonstrate very sharply how a ‘poor’ country can be a ‘rich’ one through its generosity, by focussing on giving rather than getting."

View and download the full report

Notes to editors:

Top 10 countries by the number of people donating money

Donating money country and ranking WGI ranking People (%)
Myanmar 1 91
Indonesia 2 75
Australia 3 73
Malta 4 73
New Zealand 5 71
Iceland 6 70
United Kingdom 7 69
Norway 8 67
Netherlands 9 66
Ireland 10 66

Top 10 countries by participation in helping a stranger

Helping a stranger country and ranking WGI ranking People (%)
Iraq 1 81
State of Libya 2 79
Kuwait 3 78
Somalia 4 77
United Arab Emirates 5 75
Malawi 6 74
Botswana 7 73
Sierra Leone 8 73
United States of America 9 73
Saudi Arabia 10 73

Top 10 countries by participation in volunteering time

Volunteering time country and ranking WGI ranking People (%)
Turkmenistan 1 60
Myanmar 2 55
Indonesia 3 50
Sri Lanka 4 49
United States of America 5 46
New Zealand 6 44
Philippines 7 42
Kenya 8 42
Honduras 9 41
Ireland 10 40


The World Giving Index is primarily based upon data from Gallup’s World View World Poll, which is an ongoing research project carried out in more than 140 countries in 2015 that together represent around 96% of the world’s population (around 5.1 billion people).  The survey asks questions on many different aspects of life today including giving behaviour. The countries surveyed and questions asked in each region varies from year to year and is determined by Gallup. More detail on Gallup’s methodology can be viewed online.

About CAF

The Charities Aid Foundation (CAF) is a leading international charity registered in the United Kingdom, with a presence in nine countries covering six continents. Its mission is to motivate society to give ever more effectively and help transform lives and communities around the world. We do this by working globally to increase the flow of funds to the charity and non-profit sectors through the provision of philanthropy advice and services.

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