Fraser Study Finds Huge Generosity Gap: Americans Are 2-3 Times More Generous Than Canadians
The Generosity Index measures private monetary generosity using two indicators: the percentage of tax filers who donated to charities (i.e., the extent of generosity), and the percentage of aggregate personal income donated to charity (i.e., the depth of generosity). A higher percentage of tax filers donated to charity in the United States (26.6%) than in Canada (24.0%) during the 2007 tax year.
Similarly, in 2007, Americans gave 1.60% of their aggregate income to charity, with donations totalling US$190 billion (United States Internal Revenue Service, 2009a; Bureau of Economic Analysis, 2009), see chart above. This rate of giving is more than double that of Canadians, who gave 0.73% of aggregate income (CA$8.5 billion in total) to charity in 2007 (Canada Revenue Agency, 2009; Statistics Canada, 2009). If Canadians had given the same percent age of their aggregate income to charity as Americans had, Canada’s charities would have received an additional $10.1 billion in private donations.
Canada makes its poorest showing in the average value of charitable donations in local currency. The average US donation was US$4,623 (United States Internal Revenue Service, 2009) — three times more than the average Canadian donation of CA$1,504 (Canada Revenue Agency, 2009a). Wyoming, the top-ranked jurisdiction on this measure, recorded an average charitable donation of US$11,011 — almost five times more than the average donation of CA$2,298 in Alberta, Canada’s top-performing province on this measure. Even in Rhode Island, the lowest-ranked US state, the average donation (US$2,810) is over $500 more than the average donation in Alberta. The disparity is more pronounced when currency differences are accounted for.
Update: Vice-President Joe Biden gave an average of $300 per year in charity between 1998-2006, on average annual income during those years of $236,000. In percentage terms, the Bidens gave about 1/8 of 1% of their income to charity, far below the 1.6% average for Americans, demonstrating his support of "Change You Can Believe In, As Long As You're Using Someone Else's Money, And Not Your Own."