Are we as generous as we think we are?

A couple of interesting graphics measuring giving related to the Haiti earthquake. (Click to enlarge.)

First, considered in terms of sheer amount of money:

(Graphic: GOOD Magazine)

And second, in terms of giving per capita:

(Graphic: Many Eyes; data source: The Guardian)

Taking the US as an example:

  • Gross giving = $114,480,000 ($168,000,000 according to The Guardian’s data)
  • Per capita giving = 53 cents (36 cents according to GOOD Magazine’s data)


  1. Thanks Justin… but I have to say, I’m not sure how this is helpful. It’s not very inspiring, and it seems like it may just lead to guilt. Those of us who do have a heart for charity may feel guilted into giving more, instead of being inspired to give more.

    These types of charts seem to surface any time there is some kind of disaster or hardship around the world, and the world is called to give. It seems we always learn that the US gives the most aid in terms of raw numbers… but in reality we could give more.

    So I guess I just don’t get how this is helpful. It strikes me in the same way a pastor’s sermon on tithing would strike me…

  2. Yeah, I can see how it might have that effect. I think it was mainly directed at people who are so quick to say, “Oh, Americans are the most generous people in the world,” with a “Hold on a second … yes but no.” If that makes sense.

    I’m absolutely thrilled with the amount that’s been given and the way people have come together to help, so this is not directed to that point.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.