Generosity in Canada and the United States: The 2020 Generosity Index

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Generosity in Canada and the United States: The 2020 Generosity Index

Summary

  • Manitoba had the highest percentage of tax filers that donated to charity among the provinces (22.4%) during the 2018 tax year while New Brunswick and Newfoundland & Labrador had the lowest (17.4%). Manitoba also donated the highest percentage of its aggregate income to charity among the provinces (0.78%) while Quebec donated the lowest (0.24%).
  • The general trend in recent years is that a declining percentage of Canadian tax filers are donating to charity and they are donating less as a percentage of income.
  • Nationwide, a higher percentage of tax filers donated to charity in Canada (19.4%) than in the United States (9.7%) in 2018. Conversely, Canadians (at 0.54%) gave a lower percentage of their aggregate income to charity than did Americans (at 1.97%).
  • The percentage of tax filers donating to charity varies significantly among US states and Canadian provinces and territories. All US jurisdictions, with the exception of Maryland and the District of Columbia, have a lower percentage of tax filers donating to charity than any Canadian province.
  • The percentage of aggregate income donated was generally less in the Canadian provinces and territories than in the US states. All US states, with the exception of West Virginia, gave a higher percentage of aggregate income to charity than any Canadian province or territory.
  • The top three subnational jurisdictions in the overall Generosity Index rankings are Utah (scoring 7.6 out of 10.0), District of Columbia (6.8) and Maryland (6.6). Manitoba is the highest-scoring Canadian province (5.6), moved up from 44th place (out of 64) in the 2019 Generosity Index into a tie for 4th with Georgia.
  • While some Canadian jurisdictions climbed substantially in the ranking of this year’s Generosity Index, it was not due to increased generosity in Canada, but rather to tax policy changes in the US that caused a dramatic decline in the percentage of tax filers with claimed charitable contributions.

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