Generosity in Canada and the United States: The 2011 Generosity Index

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The Generosity Index measures private monetary generosity using two key indicators. The percentage of tax filers who donated to charity indicates the extent of generosity, while the percentage of aggregate personal income donated to charity indicates the depth of charitable giving. The jurisdictions included in the index are the 10 Canadian provinces and three territories, the 50 US states, and Washington, DC. The data used are from the 2009 tax year?the most recent year for which data are available for both Canada and the United States.

The data collected for the Generosity Index show stark differences in charitable giving among the Canadian provinces and territories, as well as between Canada and the United States. Manitoba had the highest percentage of tax filers who donated to charity (26.0%) among the provinces. Manitobans also donated the highest percentage of their aggregate personal income to charity. However, the extent of charitable giving fell in nearly every Canadian province.

In the United States, the extent of generosity is well over three percentage points higher than in Canada: 26.6% of US tax filers donate to charity compared to 23.0% of Canadians.

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