US "most generous country" on World Giving Index

Host Bob Costas presents Jamie Tworkowski of the charity To Write Love on her Arms with the Million Dollar Giveaway onstage during the American Giving Awards presented by Chase on December 9, 2011 in Los Angeles, California.


Mark Davis/for American Giving Awards

The United States is the world's most generous country, according to the Charities Aid Foundation's World Giving Index 2011.

Countries were ranked by the UK organization in terms of both monetary donations and charitable acts of citizens, using Gallup polling information.

According to the survey, 65 percent of Americans gave money in 2011, 43 percent gave time, and 73 percent helped a stranger.

The US, which placed fifth on the 2010 index, was followed this year by Ireland, Australia, New Zealand and the UK. Canada placed seventh.

More from GlobalPost: US online holiday sales jump 15 percent

The survey suggested that people were less likely to donate money than in 2010, but more likely to perform acts of charity, the BBC reported. The Charities Aid Foundation (CAF) said the "worldwide financial turmoil" was the likely reason for the slight fall in charitable donations.

According to the BBC:

[CAF] said the richest countries were not necessarily the most likely to give to charity — only five nations that are in the World Bank's top 20 economies by GDP appear in the latest CAF giving index top 20.

The highest-ranked country for donating money was Thailand, with 85 percent of the population having made a charitable contribution.

According to the foundation, the index is the largest study into global charitable behavior, with 153 nations included.

More from GlobalPost: Michelle Obama accepts invitation to Marine Corps Ball (VIDEO)

Related Stories