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Generosity in Canada and the United States: The 2012 Generosity Index

January 24, 2013

Generosity in Canada and the United States: The 2012 Generosity Index

Source: Fraser Institute

The Generosity Index measures private monetary generosity using two key indicators. The percentage of tax filers who donated to charity indicates the extent of generosity, while the percentage of aggregate personal income donated to charity indicates the depth of charitable giving. The jurisdictions included in the index are the 10 Canadian provinces and three territories, the 50 US states, and Washington, DC. The data used are from the 2010 tax year—the most recent year for which data are available for both Canada and the United States.

The data collected for the Generosity Index show stark differences in charitable giving among the Canadian provinces and territories, as well as between Canada and the United States. Manitoba had the highest percentage of tax filers who donated to charity (26.2%) among the provinces. Prince Edward Island and Saskatchewan tied for second place (25.2%). The provinces with the lowest percentage of tax filers donating to charity are Newfoundland & Labrador (21.1%) and New Brunswick (21.3%).

In the United States, the extent of generosity is over three percentage points higher: 26.7% of US tax filers donate to charity compared to 23.3% of Canadians. The gap between these two countries widens when considering the depth of the generosity of each. In 2010, Americans gave 1.38% of their aggregate income to charity. This rate of giving is more than double that of Canadians, who gave 0.66% of aggregate income to charity in 2010.

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