Manitoba more generous than rest of Canada, study suggests

A greater proportion of Manitobans have been donating to charities than residents of any other province, but Canada's generosity as a whole "is the lowest it's been in a decade," research from the Fraser Institute suggests.

Province leads in donations, but Fraser Institute report says nationwide giving at lowest level in a decade

Manitoba has once again beat out other provinces in terms of donations made to charity. (Shutterstock)

A greater proportion of Manitobans have been donating to charities than residents of any other province, but Canada's generosity as a whole is the lowest it's been in a decade, research from the Fraser Institute suggests.

The authors of the new report say a greater percentage of Manitobans claimed charitable donations on their tax returns in 2014 than in other provinces.

With 24.8 per cent of residents claiming donations, Manitoba was marginally more charitable than Prince Edward Island (23.9 per cent) and Saskatchewan (22.9 per cent).

New Brunswick ranked in last place, with only 19.6 per cent of tax filers in the province claiming charitable donations in 2014.

Americans more generous

Manitobans also donated a greater percentage of their income than people in other provinces, with people here donating about 0.81 per cent of their income. Quebecers donated the lowest percentage of income, at 0.27 per cent.

Researchers found that while Manitobans outranked their Canadian counterparts, a pattern has emerged showing Canadians generally seem to be giving less than Americans in recent years.

"Many Canadians may be surprised to learn we are far less generous than Americans when it comes to charitable giving, and that's been the case for many years," Ben Eisen, director of provincial prosperity studies at the Fraser Institute, said in a statement.

The study said 24.5 of Americans donated in 2014 — compared to 21.3 per cent of Canadians that year, down from 25.1 per cent in 2004.

Manitoba ranked 37th out of 64 states and provinces in North America in giving, with Utah topping the list.

Canadian tax claims showed about $9 billion was sent to charities in 2014. 

"But had Canadians donated in 2014 at the same rate as in 2006, Canada's charities would have received an additional $3.6 billion, for a potential total of $12.6 billion," the report states.

A similar report from the Fraser Institute released in December 2015 also suggested Manitobans led the country in donations to charity in 2013.