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Are Canadians Really More Generous Than Americans?

From the SuperFreakonomics chapter on altruism: “Americans in particular are famously generous, donating about $300 billion a year to charity, more than 2 percent of the nation’s GDP.” That said, the conventional wisdom seems to hold that Americans are outclassed by our neighbors to the north. A new report by The Fraser Institute, however, challenges this wisdom: “[E]ven the most generous Canadians don’t match the level of charitable giving found in the United States. Monetary generosity in the U.S. surpassed that of Canada, with 27.3 per cent of American tax filers donating to charity, compared to 23.6 per cent of Canadian tax filers. In comparing Canadian provinces to American states on the overall index, Canadian provinces and territories occupy six of the bottom 10 rankings, with Manitoba, Canada’s highest-ranked jurisdiction, ranking 35th overall.” According to Charles Lammam, co-author of the report: “The notion that Canadians are more generous that Americans is a myth, at least when it comes to private monetary charitable giving.” Within the U.S., Utah is the most generous state, where “33.7 percent of tax filers donating 3.20 percent of the total income earned in the state.” (HT: Ricardo Bortolon) [%comments]