Saturday, January 15, 2011
Charity: Which country gives most?
This chart confirms what I have always believed; that Americans are incredibly generous people.
The data behind this chart captures private transfers by charitable organisations abroad. Americans, on average, give $52 a year to non-governmental agencies for development purposes outside the country.
This is the voluntary type of development aid, not the sort that is enforced by a tax system. This is people sticking their paws in their handbag, opening their purse, and pulling out some notes for a collection box. This is genuine giving.
The UK, in contrast, doesn't score terribly well. We give on average five dollars a year; less than a 10th of what the typical American gives. We are fractionally ahead of Japan and Italy, but we are well behind Germany, the Netherlands, Switzerland and Ireland.
So, the next time you hear someone go on an ignorant rant about America and its foreign policy, gently remind them about America's extraordinary private and essentially personal generosity to other less fortunate people in the world.
(The data is from the OECD).