But whether it’s people or places, the rich give less to charity
I’m a man of modest means, but I still try and lend a helping hand financially to those less fortunate. I estimate that for the last few years I’ve donated between 1.5 – 2% of my salary to charities such as Oxfam, Sun Youth and Amnesty International.
The way the average westerner gives to charity depends heavily on the social class they find themselves in. In the United States for example, the average charitable donations for the wealthiest 20% of Americans was about 1.3% of their income. By comparison, the poorest 20% gave an average of 3.2%. The poorest people give the most.
When it comes to charity at the international level in terms of foreign aid, the same principals apply. The US donates between 40 – 50 billion dollars a year to various countries (not all of them poor). This amounts to the largest sum of foreign aid donated in the world, but to call the United States the most generous country would be a lie.
The most generous countries in the world are actually what conservatives like to refer to as welfare states. The Scandinavian people of Sweden, Norway and Denmark might be among the highest taxed in the world, but they are also considered the happiest and their countries are the most generous.
However you look at it, as a percentage of GDP or as a percentage of personal income, the wealthy in general gives less while the people give more than their country. Where do you fit in?
Top foreign aid donors as a percentage of GDP