NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis


January 4, 2007

The size and extent of charitable donations in both the United States and Canada reveals a persistent generosity gap between the two countries, says Sylvia LeRoy and Milagros Palacios, a senior policy analyst and research economist, respectively, with the Fraser Institute.

According to the authors' 2006 Generosity Index:

  • A higher percentage of tax-filers donated to charity in the United States (30.4 percent) than Canada (25.4 percent).
  • Americans (1.67 percent) also gave a higher percentage of their aggregate income to charity than Canadians (0.72 percent).
  • In terms of the percentage of income donated, in a comparison among U.S. states and Canadian provinces and territories, Canadian jurisdictions fell behind almost every single U.S. state, with the exception of North Dakota and West Virginia.
  • Overall, Utah ranked first in the index, followed by Maryland and the District of Columbia; Manitoba, the best-rated Canadian province, ranked 38th. 

However, the percentage of aggregate income donated to charity is growing in Canadian provinces, say the authors.  But overall monetary generosity in Canada remains considerably lower than in the United States and continues to limit the power and potential of charities to improve the quality of life in Canada. 

Source: Sylvia LeRoy and Milagros Palacios, "Generosity in Canada and the United States: The 2006 Generosity Index," Fraser Institute, December 2006.

For text:


Browse more articles on Government Issues