The U.S. reclaimed the top spot in the World Giving Index last year as proportionally more Americans contributed in some way than in any other country.
The U.S. last held first place in the rankings in 2010, before ceding the spot to Australia in 2011.
The key reason for its ascendancy was that a higher proportion of Americans helped a stranger than citizens of any other country in 2012.
The 2013 report, published by Charities Aid Foundation, examined three aspects of giving behavior, asking respondents whether they had done the following in the past month:
- Donated money to a charity
- Volunteered time to an organization
- Helped a stranger, or someone they didn’t know who needed help
Data in the new report came from Gallup’s World View World Poll, an ongoing research project carried out in 135 countries in 2012.
According to the index, the average percentage of people donating money, volunteering time and helping a stranger globally all grew in 2012 in relation to 2011, despite a fall in the global economy’s rate of growth from 4% to 3.2%.
The overall rise in charitable activity last year was driven by the increase in people helping a stranger. In particular, more men played Good Samaritan globally in 2012 than in 2011.
The number of people who helped others grew by some 200 million in 2012, more than double the growth in the number of those who donated money and volunteered.