If the world were ruled by logic, then the richest nations would surely be the most generous – able to help those struggling neighbour at a moment’s notice, without detriment to themselves.
However, logic rarely comes into it – which is why the war-torn state of Myanmar, (former Burma) has been named the world’s most generous country for the third year in a row, beating the US and the UK in the 2016 World Giving Index.
Myanmar’s residents are believed to give the most away, while Iraqis are the kindest to strangers – with eight out of 10 of them helping someone they don’t know in the past month. Libyans follow soon after.
The index rates 140 countries according to three categories: helping a stranger, donating money, and volunteering their time, questioning 1,000 people from each country.
The results showed that a whopping 91% of Myanmar residents gave money to charity in the last year, with 62% having helped a stranger, and 55% having completed volunteer work.
The report attributes the selfless behaviour to religion, saying:
“The high scores are likely to be a result of Theravada Buddhism practiced by a large proportion of the population in Myanmar, whereby followers donate to support those living a monastic lifestyle – a practice known as Sangha Dana.”
America came second in the list with 63% donating to charity, and 73% helping a stranger.
The UK, although missing out on a top-five spot and beaten by less economically developed countries including Sri Lanka and Indonesia, was ranked as the most generous country in Europe. 69% of Brits donated to charity, 61% helped a stranger and 33% donated their time over the past year.
China was named as the world’s least generous country, with just 6% giving money to charity, 4% offering their time, and 24% helping a stranger.
The most striking thing about the list is the kindness displayed by Iraqis and Lybians – both nations suffering years of conflict.
The report states:
“We continue to be humbled by signs of generosity across the globe in times of adversity, with people rallying when there is a greater need within the population. Iraq, for the second year, occupies the number one position on helping a stranger despite the ongoing civil war whilst Libya, interviewed for the first time since 2012 has increased on this measure despite their bloody civil war.”
The 10 most generous countries
2) United States
4) New Zealand
5) Sri Lanka
8) United Kingdom