Belfast Telegraph

Happy people 'give more to charity'

The UK and Ireland are among the top 10 most charitable countries in the world, a study has revealed.

Experts analysed people's generosity through financial donations and volunteering time in order to produce the rankings.

The research also found happier people were more likely to give money to charity than those who were wealthy.

Ireland came joint third with Canada in the Charities Aid Foundation's (CAF) World Giving Index, while the UK tied in eighth place with Sri Lanka.

CAF used data from a Gallup survey on the charitable behaviour of the populations of 153 countries, which asked respondents whether they had given money to charity, given their time or helped a stranger in the last month.

The survey also asked people to rank how happy they were with life on a scale of one to 10.

Researchers from CAF compared the strength of the relationship between giving with a nation's GDP and the happiness of its population and found the link between well-being and giving was stronger than the link between wealth and giving (a correlation of 0.69 compared with a correlation of 0.58).

Adults in the UK were the third most generous in terms of giving money, with 73% of the population having donated to charity. Less than a third (29%) had volunteered their time, more than half (58%) had helped a stranger and the country's happiness score was 5.6, CAF said.

Australia and New Zealand topped the index in the study, which CAF said was the largest of its kind.

Richard Harrison, CAF director of research, said: "Donating money to charity is something that is traditionally seen as being driven by how wealthy a person is. However, it is clear that happiness plays an important role in influencing whether people give."


From Belfast Telegraph