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

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

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VANCOUVER, British Columbia, Dec. 12, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — The number of Canadians donating to charity—as a percentage of all tax filers—is at the lowest point in 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, director of Fiscal Studies at the Fraser Institute and co-author of Generosity in Canada: The 2023 Generosity Index.

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The study finds that the percentage of Canadian tax filers donating to charity during the 2021 tax year—just 17.7 per cent—is the lowest proportion of Canadians donating since at least 2001. Canadians’ generosity peaked at 25.4 per cent of tax-filers donating in 2004, before declining in subsequent years.

Nationally, the total amount donated to charity by Canadian tax filers has also fallen from 0.58 per cent of income in 2001 to 0.55 per cent of income in 2021.

The study finds that Manitoba had the highest percentage of tax filers that donated to charity among the provinces (19.7 per cent) during the 2021 tax year while New Brunswick had the lowest (15.4 per cent).

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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 (0.26 per cent).

“A smaller proportion of Canadians are donating to registered charities than what we saw in previous decades, 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.”

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Generosity of Canadian provinces and territories

(ranking in 2023 Generosity Index)
% of tax filers who claimed charitable donations Average dollar value of all charitable donations % of aggregate income donated to charity
Manitoba 19.7 $2,601 0.74
Ontario 18.2 $2,729 0.63
Quebec 17.6 $1,026 0.26
Prince Edward Island 17.6 $1,822 0.48
British Columbia 17.4 $3,318 0.73
Saskatchewan 17.3 $2,326 0.54
Alberta 17.1 $3,180 0.62
Nova Scotia 16.2 $1,788 0.43
Newfoundland and Labrador 15.7 $1,438 0.32
New Brunswick 15.4 $1,803 0.44
Yukon 15.0 $1,910 0.26
Northwest Territories 10.9 $2,301 0.21
Nunavut 5.4 $2,642 0.15

NOTE: Table based on 2021 tax year, the most recent year of comparable data in Canada

Jake Fuss, Director, Fiscal Studies
Fraser Institute

Grady Munro, Junior Policy Analyst
Fraser Institute

To arrange media interviews or for more information, please contact:
Drue MacPherson, 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

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