It seems that lending a helping hand to a stranger can be more than just a good deed.
In fact, according to research consulting company Gallup, a culture’s willingness to help others is a strong indicator of positive economic factors, including GDP and long-term unemployment, as well as multiple other benefits like encouraging greater overall well being.
To find out more, Gallup conducted surveys over more than 145,000 people across more than 140 countries, asking residents if they had recently donated money to a charity, volunteered for an organisation or helped a stranger in need. The encouraging results, collected in the 2016 Global Civic Engagement Report, were then projected to include the whole world – currently at 7.4 billion people – and found that in a given month, 1.4 billion people donate money to charity, almost 1 billion volunteer and 2.2 billion help strangers.
Each country’s individual score varied widely, however, with residents of certain countries significantly more likely to engage in helping across all measures. We spoke to people living in the five highest-ranking countries to find out what motivates them to donate their time and money, and how it affects society there.