MONTREAL, QUEBEC--(Marketwired - Dec. 16, 2013) - Quebecers remain among the least generous of all Canadians, according to a new study released today by the Fraser Institute, an independent, non-partisan Canadian public policy think-tank.
The study, Generosity in Canada and the United States: The 2013 Generosity Index, measures donations to registered charities claimed on personal income tax returns in Canada's 10 provinces and three territories, the 50 U.S. states and Washington, D.C.
"For 15 consecutive years, Quebec has ranked last among the provinces on the Fraser Institute's index of private charitable giving. This ongoing generosity gap limits the ability of private charities in Quebec to serve their communities," said Charles Lammam, study co-author and resident scholar in economic policy at the Fraser Institute.
Using tax return data from 2011 (the most recent year available), the study found that Quebecers gave 0.30 per cent of their combined income to charity. This was the lowest percentage among all provinces and less than half the national average of 0.64 per cent. If Quebecers matched the overall Canadian rate of giving, Quebec charities would have received an additional $985 million in private donations in 2011, for a potential total of $1.8 billion instead of the $858 million that was actually donated.
Manitobans, the most generous Canadians, gave 0.89 per cent of their income to charity. Manitoba also had the highest percentage of tax filers donating to charity (25.9 per cent) among the provinces, while Quebec ranked eighth (21.2 per cent).
In terms of the average dollar value of donations, which does not factor into the overall index, Quebec ranks last with an average donation of $655-less than half the national average of $1,519. Alberta ($2,321) ranks first among the provinces, followed by British Columbia ($1,889) and Ontario ($1,714).
"While Quebecers pride themselves on being charitable, the reality is that they give less to registered charities compared to Canadians in other provinces both in average dollar terms and as a proportion of income," Lammam said.
Comparing the index scores across all 64 Canadian and U.S. jurisdictions, Quebec ranks 59th overall. Utah remains the most generous, while Manitoba is Canada's highest ranking province (35th). Nunavut was last overall.
The study, which is only available in English, can be viewed as a free PDF at fraserinstitute.org.
The Fraser Institute is an independent Canadian public policy research and educational organization with offices in Vancouver, Calgary, Toronto, and Montreal and ties to a global network of 86 think-tanks. 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 www.fraserinstitute.org