The U.S. tied with Switzerland for fifth place in a “world giving index” by the British-based Charities Aid Foundation that measured charitable behavior across the globe.
The ranking in the “World Giving Index 2010” was based on the U.S.’s showing in three categories — 60 percent of Americans gave to an organization; 39 percent volunteered for a group; and 65 percent were willing to aid a stranger.
Australia and New Zealand were ranked as the most charitable countries, followed by Ireland and Canada. Burundi and Madagascar tied for last place.
The report was based on data from Gallup’s World Poll, taken in 153 countries and representing about 95 percent of the global population. Donating and volunteering could include places of worship as well as community organizations and political groups.
“When it comes to philanthropy, Americans do a lot ... and can always do more,” said Janet Boyd, president of Charities Aid Foundation America, a member organization of the foundation that issued the report.
“In my view, no one should take a critical view of the U.S. fifth place rank in this report ... but that also does not mean that we should be complacent as a nation when there is so much more that can be done.”