Fraser Institute News Release: Canadian generosity hits lowest point in 20 years

VANCOUVER, British Columbia, Dec. 07, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The number of Canadians donating to charity—as a percentage of all tax filers—is at the lowest point in the past 20 years, finds a new study published by the Fraser Institute, an independent, non-partisan Canadian public policy think-tank.

“The holiday season is a time to reflect on charitable giving, and the data shows Canadians are consistently less charitable every year, which means charities face greater challenges to secure resources to help those in need,” said Jake Fuss, senior policy analyst with the Fraser Institute and co-author of Generosity in Canada: The 2021 Generosity Index.

The study also finds that the total amount donated by Canadians during the 2019 tax year—just 0.53 per cent of income—is the second lowest amount since at least 2000. During that period, Canadians’ generosity peaked at 0.72 per cent in 2006, before declining in subsequent years.

Nationally, the percentage of Canadian tax filers donating to charity has fallen from 25.5 per cent to 19.0 per cent over that same 20-year period.

The study finds that Manitoba had the highest percentage of tax filers that donated to charity among the provinces (21.9 per cent) during the 2019 tax year while Newfoundland & Labrador had the lowest (17.1per cent).

Likewise, Manitoba also donated the highest percentage of its aggregate income to charity among the provinces (0.74 per cent) while Quebec donated the lowest (0.24 per cent).

“This year, a smaller proportion of Canadians are donating to registered charities, and those who are donating are donating less,” said Fuss.

“This decline in generosity in Canada undoubtedly limits the ability of Canadian charities to improve the quality of life in their communities and beyond.”

Generosity of Canadian provinces and territories

(ranking in 2021 Generosity Index)
% of tax filers who
claimed charitable
Average dollar value of
all charitable donations
% of aggregate
income donated to
Manitoba (1 out of 13)21.9$2,1930.74
Ontario (2)19.8$2,2720.61
Prince Edward Island (2)19.8$1,4880.49
Saskatchewan (4)19.0$2,0120.55
Alberta (5)18.6$2,8750.64
Quebec (5)18.6$8340.24
British Columbia (7)18.0$2,6950.66
Nova Scotia (8)17.6$1,5760.44
New Brunswick (9)17.2$1,5120.44
Newfoundland and Labrador (10)17.1$1,1330.29
Yukon (11)15.5$1,5760.24
Northwest Territories (12)11.3$1,9800.20
Nunavut (13)6.2$2,2280.14

NOTE: Table based on 2019 tax year, the most recent year of comparable data in Canada

Jake Fuss, Senior Economist
Fraser Institute

To arrange media interviews or for more information, please contact:
Drue MacPherson, Junior Media Relations Coordinator, Fraser Institute
Tel: (604) 688-0221 Ext. 721

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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 think-tanks in 87 countries. 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