The Fraser Institute

The Fraser Institute

December 18, 2007 06:00 ET

The Fraser Institute: Quebeckers Among Lowest Donors to Charity in Canada; Canadians Donate Less Than Americans

MONTREAL, QUEBEC--(Marketwire - Dec. 18, 2007) - Quebeckers are among the least generous Canadians when it comes to donating to charity, according to a new study from independent research organization The Fraser Institute.

Generosity in Canada and the United States: The 2007 Generosity Index measures and compares monetary generosity in Canada's 10 provinces and three territories and in the 50 U.S. states and the District of Columbia using readily available data about the extent and depth of charitable donations as recorded on personal income tax returns.

The index shows people living in Quebec are comparatively less generous with 22.5 per cent of tax filers claiming charitable donations worth about 0.33 percent of total income earned in that province.

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, Quebec ranks 59th overall, ahead of only the Yukon, North Dakota, West Virginia, the Northwest Territories and Nunavut.

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 income earned in the state. Maryland is second with 44.6 per cent of tax filers donating 2.22 per cent of state income.

Residents of Utah, the most generous American state, donate more than 11 times as much of their income (3.71 per cent) compared to Quebeckers (0.33 per cent) and more than three times as much as Manitoba, Canada's most generous province (1.11 per cent).

In fact, not a single U.S. state donates less to charity than the 0.33 per cent of total income given by Quebeckers.

"Many Quebeckers continue to feed the myth that Quebec, and Canada, are more generous and giving societies than 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 Quebeckers and most other Canadians," said Tasha Kheiriddin, the Institute's Directrice pour le Quebec et la Francophonie.

In comparing Canada and the United States 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 and 22.5 per cent of Quebec 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).

Canada makes its poorest showing in terms of the average value of charitable donations in local currency. The average U.S. donation was $4,388 US, almost four times more than the average donation in Canada ($1,345 Cdn.). Top-ranked Wyoming recorded an average charitable donation of $10,066 US, more than five times the average in Alberta ($1,836 Cdn.), Canada's top-ranked province. Even in Rhode Island, the lowest ranked U.S. state, the average donation ($2,594 US) is nearly $750 more than the average donation in Alberta. These differences are more pronounced when currency differences are taken into account.

"The numbers continue to show a well established fact-- more Americans give to charity and as a whole, give a higher percentage of their aggregate personal income," Kheiriddin said.

"If Canadians followed the Americans' lead and donated the same percentage of their income, Canadian charities would have received an extra $10.4 billion in revenue."

The Fraser Institute is an independent research and educational organization with offices in Calgary, Montreal, Tampa, Toronto, and Vancouver. Its mission is to measure, study, and communicate the impact of competitive markets and government intervention on the welfare of individuals. To protect the Institute's independence, it does not accept grants from governments or contracts for research. Visit

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