Britain climbs charitable table
Britain has been rated the world's fifth most charitable country in a new survey that found people across the globe are becoming more likely to perform good deeds.
The UK moved up from eighth place last year in the study of 153 nations carried out by the Charities Aid Foundation.
The United States came top of the World Giving Index 2011 - which ranks nations based on how likely people are to donate money, volunteer their time and aid strangers - followed by Ireland, Australia and New Zealand.
The Netherlands was sixth, with the top 10 rounded out by Canada, Sri Lanka, Thailand and Laos.
Despite the squeeze on incomes caused by the ongoing financial turmoil, 79% of Britons give money to charity each month, up from 73% in 2010, according to the research.
Only Thais were more generous, with 85% likely to make a regular charitable donation. Ireland and the Netherlands were joint third on 75%.
Some 28% of the UK population volunteers time each month (down from 29% last year) and 63% help a stranger (up from 58%), the survey found.
Worldwide there was a 2% increase in people helping strangers and a 1% increase in volunteering over the past 12 months, but a 1% drop in giving to charity, the study based on Gallup polling data discovered.
John Low, chief executive of the Charities Aid Foundation, based in West Malling, Kent, said: "It is amazing that even during these tough economic times an overwhelming majority of the UK population gives to charity each month.
"However, there is always more that can be done. Creating an even stronger culture of giving in the UK will require ongoing commitment and effort by Government, business and charities."