Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Canadian 2005 Generosity Index

The Fraser Institute has published the 2005 Generosity Index.

Manitoba ranks first in Canada for having the highest percentage of tax-filers donating to charity (28.3 percent), followed by Ontario (27.0 percent) and Saskatchewan (26.7 percent). Newfoundland, Quebec, and New Brunswick are the provinces with the lowest percentage of tax-filers claiming charitable donations. (See Table 1 for the Canadian results and rankings). Manitoba, Ontario, and Saskatchewan also top the list for donating the highest percentage of aggregate income to charity. Manitoba donated 0.99 percent of aggregate income to charity, followed by Ontario (0.87 percent) and Saskatchewan (0.83 percent). Among the provinces, Quebec donates the least with 0.33 percent of aggregate income. While not used in the calculation of the Generosity Index, Albertans continue to have the highest average donation ($1,468), followed closely by Ontario ($1,437). Quebec ranks last among all provinces for having the lowest average charitable donation ($532), an amount less than half the national average ($1,165).

Interestingly, Canadians are considerably less generous in charitable giving than Americans, despite their pretentions about being more socially-minded.

The most striking finding of the Generosity Index is the dramatic difference in charitable giving that exists between Canada and the United States. These differences are most marked when comparing the depth of charitable giving in the two countries. In 2003, the United States donated 1.57 percent of aggregate income to charity, more than twice that of Canada (0.70 percent).

The extent of charitable giving is also lower in Canada, where 24.9 percent of all tax-filers made donations, compared to 29.4 percent of Americans.

The average donation in the US ($3,731) is over three times more than the average donation in Canada ($1,165) even before accounting for differences in the value of currencies. In Alberta, Canada’s top-ranked province, the average donation ($1,468) is only 18.6 percent of the value of the average donation for tax filers in Wyoming ($7,888), America’s top-ranked state. Even in Rhode Island, the lowest ranked US state, average donations are close to $1,000 more than in Alberta. These differences become even more pronounced when currency differences are taken into account.

Chalk that up with Canadians thinking that they are more environmentally aware than the Americans (re Kyoto), but Canada performing worse on emissions increases.


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