Maltese fourth most generous in the world

The Maltese are among the most generous when it comes to parting with their money, yet they are more frugal when it comes to giving up their time for voluntary work and helping strangers, a study has found

jurgen
Jurgen Balzan
17 March 2017, 10:00am
73% of those questioned said they contributed financially to charity in the last year
73% of those questioned said they contributed financially to charity in the last year
Malta sees more people donate more money for good causes than any other European nation, with 73% of those questioned having given financially to charity in the last year. 

However, no European countries appear in the top 10 for helping a stranger and Malta comes in at 86th from 140 countries.

Once again, the 2016 study published by the Charities Aid Foundation (CAF) confirms that while the Maltese are among the most generous when it comes to parting with their money, they are more frugal when it comes to giving up their time for voluntary work and helping strangers.

In the overall rankings Malta comes in 16th in the World Giving Index 2016, which includes data from 140 countries collected throughout 2015. 

Since its inception in 2010, the CAF World Giving Index has been based on three measures: Have you given money to a good cause; have you helped a stranger; or have you volunteered your time.

Despite Malta being the fourth most generous in terms of donating money (down one place from 2015), the country ranked 86th when it comes to helping a stranger, and 36th when it comes to giving up time for voluntary work. 

While Malta dropped 13 places in helping foreigners, it gained 10 places in terms of voluntary work. 

For the first time on the CAF World Giving Index, more than half of people globally helped a stranger in the month prior to being interviewed, demonstrating a positive movement in this measure of generosity. 

Encouragingly, participation levels for helping a stranger have increased across all levels of economic development, including transitional nations which, although still the least likely to help a stranger, have seen an upwards movement after a decline last year.

In Europe, helping a stranger is the most common giving behaviour, with 44% of those questioned having done so in the past year, while 36% had donated money, and 19% had volunteered time. 

Overall, Myanmar was the most generous country for the third year running. The United States was second, making it the most generous nation in the western world, followed by Australia.

Across all continents, except Oceania, helping a stranger is the most common way of giving, and all except Oceania see one-year scores higher than their five-year averages – notably Africa, Asia and the Americas. 

Last year all continents reported a positive differential between the current year and long term average for giving money, with the most notable differences being in Europe and Asia, which both increased by 5 percentage points. This year however there is no such pattern.

For the second year in a row, Iraq ranks in first place for helping a stranger with a score of 81%. This is a two percentage point improvement on its 2015 score.

The ongoing Iraqi civil war does not appear to have dampened the strong heritage of informal giving within Iraq’s communities. Similarly, Libya, which was last surveyed in 2012, the year following the Arab Spring, has also seen an upshift of seven percentage points in that time, against the backdrop of an ongoing and bloody civil war. 

Whilst improvement in Iraq and Libya on the measure of helping a stranger seems extraordinary given each country’s security situation, it may be that their increasingly fragile civil societies coupled with greater need amongst the population is encouraging more people to be responsive out of sheer necessity.

jurgen
Jurgen Balzan joined MaltaToday in 2011, specialising in politics, foreig...