How generous is the world we're living in

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Solidarity and generosity say a lot about a country's population, society and environment that expatriates are going to experience. During the past year, which nations have made the most significant efforts in helping the needy by either volunteering, donating money to a charity or helping a stranger? Since the holiday season also means supporting and sharing, let's have a look at the world's most generous nations according to a study by the Charities Aid Foundation.

This year, Indonesia dominate the generosity ranking thanks to its effort in all categories including helping a stranger, donating money to a charity and volunteering. Developed and high-income countries like Australia, New Zealand, the USA, Ireland, the United Kingdom and Singapore are also in the top ten, followed by conflict countries like Kenya, Burma and Bahrain. You might have understood that income and prosperity are far from being the most determining factors for generosity. Kindness, availability and sensibility also count a lot, as evidenced by the report.

Helping a stranger

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Overall, some fifty countries around the world improved regarding generosity. Regarding participation in helping a stranger, Libya, Iraq, Kuwait, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Bahrain, the Gambia, Saudi Arabia, Kenya and the USA are the top ten countries. On the other hand, the most significant number of persons helping a stranger during the past year was recorded in China (362 million), followed by India (290 million), USA (187 million), Indonesia (86 million), Nigeria (72 million), Brazil (68 million), Bangladesh (65 million), Pakistan (53 million), Russia (53 million), million) and Mexico (41 million).

One of the smallest countries in mainland Africa and the most populous, with nearly half of its total population below the poverty line, The Gambia improved significantly in the past year regarding helping a stranger. It's also worth noting that women are as generous as men when it comes to helping in diverse countries like Slovenia and Brazil. In other countries like Afghanistan, Botswana and Pakistan, men are generally more likely than women to help. On the other hand, women are much more generous than men in countries like Belarus and Australia.

Donating money to a charity

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If you haven't got the chance to help a stranger, that's alright. Donating to a charity is another way to show generosity. Myanmar tops the list of donations in terms of participation, followed by Indonesia, Australia, the United Kingdom, New Zealand, the Netherlands, Norway, Iceland, Ireland and Malta. Regarding the number of people making donations, India tops the list with 191 million donors, followed by the USA (158 million), China (156 million ) and Indonesia (144 million). Germany (39 million), the United Kingdom (37 million), Nigeria (36 million), Pakistan (34 million), Burma (33 million) and Iran (32 million) are also in the top ten.

It's worth noting that Burma has been the world's most generous nation for six years in spite of a slight decrease from 91% to 88%. And even though India ranks first when it comes to the number of people donating, it only comes 89th regarding participation given the size of its population. Moving out of the top ten are Thailand and Canada, mainly due to a decline in the participation rate. The number of donors in Thailand has also decreased significantly. You will perhaps recall the introduction of new laws in 2017 aiming at better control of donations to monks, and the military junta's crackdown on financial mismanagement and corruption in Buddhist temples.

Jordan and Mexico are countries where women are as generous as men when it comes to donating money to a charity, unlike Kosovo, Tanzania and Pakistan. In countries like Sweden, New Zealand and Norway – which usually stand out for gender equality and human development – women are way more generous than men.

Volunteering

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Where do people volunteer the most? Indonesia tops the list regarding participation, followed by Liberia, Kenya, Sri Lanka, New Zealand, Australia, Ireland, the USA, Singapore and Mauritius. However, India has the largest number of volunteers (138 million), followed by the USA (102 million), Indonesia (100 million), China (84 million), Nigeria (37 million), Japan (26 million), Brazil (21 million), the Philippines (19 million), Germany (19 million) and the UK (18 million). This year, however, there was a slight decrease in participation in Kenya (from 51% to 45%) while Singapore showed the most significant increase. Also, leaving the top 10, France is overtaken by Germany and the UK.

It seems like women are more and more likely to volunteer in Indonesia, as evidenced by the 48% participation rate. Switzerland, France and Poland are other countries where women are keener to volunteer than men, unlike Liberia and Pakistan which still have a long way to go in terms of gender parity. However, women are as likely to volunteer as men in countries like the United Arab Emirates, Namibia and Iceland.