I put this on FB as well in my notes. It took some time to get all the numbers because I needed to understand why the United States is so different from others I was raised in. I surely mean no offense to anyone here, but for as long as I have been angry with my own country….I finally feel it has redeemed itself:
The British-based Charities Aid Foundation did an interesting poll a while ago -
“carried out in 153 countries accounting for 95 percent of the world’s population.
In most countries surveyed, 1,000 questionnaires were completed - in telephone and face-to-face interviews - by a representative sample of individuals living in urban centers. Margins of error ranged from plus or minus 5.3 percentage points in Lithuania to plus or minus 2.6 percentage points in India.” “Australia and New Zealand shared first place, and the United States tied for fifth”
Here’s what I first found interesting; listing the 1st through 5th contenders and based on 1,000 people surveyed in each country, here’s the percentage of individuals actually surveyed based on each country’s population (population first then percentage of individuals surveyed):
1. Australia - 22,328,800 - 0.004478% (the United States has 13 times the population)
2. New Zealand - 4,367,800 - 0.022894% (the United States has 71 times the population)
3. Canada - 34,108,752 (the United States has 9 times the population)
4. Ireland - 4,481,430 (the United States has 69 times the population)
Switzerland - 7,825,243 (the United States has 39 times the population)
United States - 311,591,917 - 0.000320%
As I continued to look at these slanted from the first survey numbers, I became more and more unimpressed by a poll that did not take into account the differences in population and then boost the numbers they should have actually surveyed.
So I took another dive and searched out charity (not for profit and philanthropy) groups that existed and were actively engaged in each country and was really surprised because you see, just using wikipedia ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Category:Charities_by_country ), in order to list them out, this online service tallied the number of pages it had to link to each charity within a country. Amazingly, the United States has over 500 pages of charities and the next runner up was the United Kingdom (total population: 62,218,761) with over 300 pages listed. All other countries, including those who boast being ‘socialist’ have listings only by very low single or double units (pages) rather than triple units.
My epiphany .... my country has redeemed itself in my heart, I am very VERY proud to be a United States Citizen. I believe the numbers here, not a slanted survey, speak volumes to a country, my own, with which I have been at such odds with for so many years, full of old and new immigrants, religions, races, and cultures ALL of whom apparently care enough about their communities that so many ongoing, engaging, and working charities continue to be added.
(Erik asked me about just religious charities and I sent him this: The pages do link to various religious charities and while there are MANY of these, there are just as many that developed because of the needs of small communities that then grew very large and began to overlap. The United States is by far the most diverse group of immigrants old and new of all countries around the world and because (I think) of this fundamental base, each immigrant brought with them the needs, ideals and desires that drove them here in the first place. This is the foundation upon which the United States stands and which, I believe, will always set us both apart and with greater strength than any other presently existing on this planet. Perhaps one day our glove will fit all hands.)