NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis


December 29, 2007

When it comes to donating money to registered charities, Canadians give much less to charities than Americans do, according to a new report by The Fraser Institute.

According to the Institute:

  • Among Canadians, Manitoba tax payers give the most to charity, with donations from 28.4 per cent of tax filers, about 1.11 percent of total income earned in that province.
  • Ontario is second with 27.3 per cent of tax filers claiming a charitable donation amounting to 0.91 per cent of total income earned in that province.

But when all 64 North American jurisdictions measured are compared, Manitoba ranks 43rd on the generosity index while Ontario is 47th.  Canadian provinces and territories occupy 12 of the bottom 20 spots.

  • Utah is number one on the generosity index with 36.4 per cent of tax filers donating to charity, giving a total of 3.71 per cent of total state income.
  • The only U.S. states less generous than Manitoba and Ontario are North Dakota and West Virginia; all other Canadian provinces and territories trail every U.S. state, giving less than 0.87 per cent of their total income to charity.

On a national basis:

  • Monetary generosity in the U.S. far surpasses that of Canada with 30.6 per cent of U.S tax filers donating to charity compared to 25.1 per cent of Canadian tax filers.
  • Americans gave 1.77 per cent of their aggregate personal income to charity, more than double the 0.75 per cent of the total personal income Canadians donated to charity in 2005 (the last year for which data was available).

"Many Canadians continue to feed the myth that Canada is a more generous and giving society than that of the United States.  But when it comes to reaching into our own pockets and giving our own money to charity, Americans are clearly more generous then Canadians," said Niels Veldhuis, Fraser's Director of Fiscal Studies.

Source: "Manitoba leads Canada in charitable donations but Canadian generosity pales compared to Americans," Fraser Institute, December 18, 2007.


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