Just in time for the holidays, the Charities Aid Foundation released its annual World Giving Index for 2015, ranking countries according to their charitable giving, volunteering, and willingness to help those in need. The report seems to confirm a common source of guilt among developed nations of the world, that the wealthier you become, the less generous you are, with almost no rich countries represented at the top. Instead, the most advanced economies of the world performed relatively poorly, with one glaring exception: the Anglosphere.
In the index, the top spot is occupied by Myanmar, a Southeast Asian military dictatorship that is one of the most impoverished countries in the world. Economic prosperity does not necessarily translate to increasing generosity. In fact, only a handful of wealthy countries made it to the top twenty spots in the World Giving Index of 2015, much less the top ten. But they are not just any handful. The performance of Anglosphere countries is striking: the United States takes second place, while New Zealand, Canada, Australia, the United Kingdom, and Ireland fill out the rest of the top ten. All six countries belong to a unique family of nations formerly associated with a single colonial empire, and all share threads of a common cultural heritage.
From the authors’ discussion of key findings, however, you would never guess that there was such a clear pattern sticking out in the report. They appear to be more preoccupied with pointing out the influence of Theravada Buddhism on the performance of Myanmar, or of the timing of the survey during the month of Ramadan to explain the strong showing of Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan. At one point – at last – they begin to explain that the cultural heritage of a country can also impact on giving behaviors, but do not hold your breath. They are only referring to the discontinuation of the Soviet-era weekly volunteering policy of ‘Saturday subbotniks’ in Turkmenistan. It seems that some truths are so obvious, only experts can deny them.
Read the full article at CapX.