A declining percentage of Canadian tax-filers are donating to charity, and they’re donating less as a percentage of income.
About one in five Canadian tax-filers (20.4%) claimed charitable donations on their tax returns in 2016, the latest year of available data, finds the Fraser Institute’s 2018 generosity index. The figure represents a decline of 16.9% since 2006.
Amounts donated are also on a downward trajectory. The total average amount of income donated by Canadians dropped to 0.53% in 2016 from 0.78% in 2006—a decline of almost one-third.
In comparison, about 25% of American taxpayers gave to charity, at an average rate of 1.46% of their incomes.
While the report doesn’t determine why there are differences in charitable giving in different jurisdictions, it cites possible reasons, such as income differences, the after-tax cost of donating, disposable income and religious affiliation. For example, Americans face lower personal tax rates and likely have higher rates of church-related givings given their greater rates of church attendance.
Manitoba is the most generous province, with about 24% of tax-filers giving to charity in 2016, and donating the highest percentage of aggregate income, at 0.76%. The territories have the lowest percentage of tax-filers donating to charity (about 8% of tax-filers in Nunavut, for example), while Quebecers donated the lowest percentage of aggregate income, at 0.26%.
For full details, read the full generosity index report.