Infographic from the Guardian Flickr pool
Yikes, this new study, by the Charities Aid Foundation, doesn’t help Gates and Buffetts’ chances here in China. Apparently, even taking into account GDP and levels of poverty, China is one of the least likely countries to donate time or money to charitable causes.
The Charities Aid Foudation conducted a Gallup survey of 195,000 people in 153 nations to compile the “World Giving Index”, the largest study ever carried out into charitable behaviour across the globe. The survey not only asked whether people had given money to charity in the last month, but also whether they’d volunteered time to charitable causes or helped a stranger. It also asked people to rank themselves on how happy they were in life (from one to ten).
China was at the absolute bottom of Asian countries in terms of charitableness, with only 11% having donated money, 4% having donated time and 28% having helped a stranger. In fact, most East Asian countries ranked pretty low on the scale – Korea teetered at 87th place and Japan was at a measly 119th. The one bright spot was Hong Kong (ranked 18th), where 70% had given money, 13% had volunteered and 50% had helped a stranger.
Besides being a potentially embarrassing statistic for Chinese people (if they care), the study also found a strong correlation between happiness and giving. Wealth didn’t matter so much, it seems – those with little money will still donate if they’re feeling good about their quality of life. China got a happiness rating of 4.5, which is below average for the world, but still far happier than Sierra Leone, which ranked 11th in giving.