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Which is the world's kindest country?

The Telegraph logo The Telegraph 5 days ago By Oliver Smith

Myanmar is the most generous country on the planet. Theravada Buddhism, practiced by a large proportion of the population, sees followers donate to those living a monastic lifestyle © Provided by Shutterstock Myanmar is the most generous country on the planet. Theravada Buddhism, practiced by a large proportion of the population, sees followers donate to those living a monastic lifestyle It's World Kindness Day! Introduced in 1998, it is a celebration of kindness in all its forms. How can you contribute? "Make a vegetable patch and grow your own produce," says the Kindness Day UK website . "Say good morning to everyone on your way into work, bring in treats for your colleagues, or leave a pile of pennies by a fountain for passers by to make a wish."

Kindness can sometimes feel lacking in Britain, particularly in the capital, and no doubt many reading the above suggestions will be doing so with smirking cynicism. But the UK is actually one of the world's most generous countries, according to Charities Aid Foundation's  2017 World Giving Index . 

Billed as "the world's leading study of generosity", the index rates 140 countries in three categories: helping a stranger, donating money, and volunteering time. The UK's overall rating of 50 is good enough for 11th place.

So which is the kindest country? 

Myanmar (Burma) pips Indonesia and Kenya to the honour. According to the research, 91 per cent of Myanmar residents gave money to charity in the past year, 53 per cent said they had helped a stranger, and 51 per cent claimed they had volunteered (for Britain, the figures are 58 per cent, 64 per cent and 28 per cent, respectively). 

"The high scores are likely to be a result of Theravada Buddhism practiced by a large proportion of the population in Myanmar, whereby followers donate to support those living a monastic lifestyle – a practice known as Sangha Dana," the report states. 

Kindness is commonplace in Indonesia, too © Provided by Shutterstock Kindness is commonplace in Indonesia, too Ireland made the top 10, as did New Zealand, the US and Canada, but scores fell in every Western country compared with 2016. An average of 1,000 people were questioned in each country to produce the report.

  1. Myanmar - overall rating: 65
  2. Indonesia - 60
  3. Kenya - 60
  4. New Zealand - 57
  5. United States - 56
  6. Australia - 56
  7. Canada - 54
  8. Ireland - 53
  9. United Arab Emirates - 51
  10. Netherlands - 51
  11. United Kingdom - 50
  12. Sierra Leone - 49
  13. Malta - 48
  14. Liberia - 46
  15. Iceland - 46
  16. Thailand - 46
  17. Iran - 45
  18. Germany - 45
  19. Norway - 45
  20. Zambia - 45

In spite of the country's troubles, or perhaps because of them, Iraqi citizens are quick to help a stranger © Provided by Shutterstock In spite of the country's troubles, or perhaps because of them, Iraqi citizens are quick to help a stranger Despite its torrid recent history, Iraq also scored highly. It was ranked 39th overall, but came second in the "helping a stranger" table. 

  1. Sierra Leone - 81%
  2. Iraq - 78%
  3. Libya - 77%
  4. Kenya - 76%
  5. Liberia - 75%
  6. Kuwait - 74%
  7. United States - 73%
  8. Uganda - 73%
  9. South Africa - 72%
  10. Saudi Arabia - 71%

China is the second least generous country, according to the report © Provided by Shutterstock China is the second least generous country, according to the report At the other end of the scale, Yemen was rated the least generous country, with 31 per cent helping a stranger, three per cent giving money and six per cent volunteering, followed by China. Eastern European countries also fared poorly, with Lithuania, Serbia and Latvia making the bottom 10. 

  1. Yemen - overall score: 13
  2. China - 14
  3. Lithuania - 16
  4. Morocco - 18
  5. Georgia - 18
  6. Cambodia - 18
  7. Madagascar - 18
  8. Serbia - 18
  9. Latvia - 18
  10. Mauritania - 18
  11. Bangladesh - 18
  12. Czech Republic - 18
  13. Bulgaria - 19
  14. Azerbaijan - 19
  15. Democratic Republic of the Congo - 19
  16. Russia - 20
  17. The Occupied Palestinian Territories - 20
  18. Armenia - 20
  19. Croatia - 20
  20. Paraguay - 21

Related: The World's Most Popular Travel Destinations (Provided by Wochit News)

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