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CURRENT ISSUE:  September 20, 2010
VOL. 48, NO. 16   •   Oakland, CA
Other front page stories
Top student, a San Bruno fire victim, mourned by classmates
Parents reminded of right to ‘opt out’ of school programs
U.S. ranks fifth in World Giving Index

WASHINGTON (CNS) — The United States tied with Switzerland for fifth overall in a new index of giving formulated by CAFAmerica, the U.S. arm of a British-based charity clearinghouse known as the Charities Aid Foundation.

Australia and New Zealand tied for first, with Ireland coming in third.

Of the 153 nations studied in the World Giving Index, which takes in 95 percent of the world’s population, Sri Lanka placed the highest among Asian countries; Sierra Leone ranked highest among all African countries; and Guyana finished best of South American nations.

Three gauges were used to determine a country’s ranking: one’s willingness to give to a charitable organization, the willingness to volunteer, and whether one had helped a stranger in the previous month.

CAFAmerica CEO Susan Saxon-Harrold said that “the biggest field of interest that U.S. households support is within the religion category,” with 48 percent of U.S. households’ charitable contributions directed to religious organizations, compared to 27 percent to health-oriented charities and 25 percent to social service organizations.

Richard Harrison, the Charities Aid Foundation’s research director, said the statistics are even stronger in England, with giving to religious-based charities topping all other giving by a 4-to-1 margin.

Saxon-Harrold noted that many of the countries at the bottom of the index are recipients of American charity. At the bottom was Madagascar, followed in order by Burundi, Ukraine, Serbia, Greece, Lithuania, China, Bangladesh, Rwanda and Pakistan.

Other nations in the top 10 were Canada, fourth; the Netherlands, seventh; the United Kingdom, eighth, and Austria, 10th.

The index also revealed that the older a person is, the more likely he or she was to give to charity.

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