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The Fraser Institute: Quebec Last Among Provinces in Private Charitable Giving; Americans Overall More Generous Than Canadians

MONTREAL, QUEBEC -- (Marketwire) -- 12/13/12 -- Quebec residents are the least generous among all Canadians according to an analysis of donations to registered charities claimed on personal income tax returns, released today by the Fraser Institute, Canada's leading public policy think-tank.

Generosity in Canada and the United States: The 2012 Generosity Index measures and compares private monetary generosity in Canada's 10 provinces and three territories, and in the 50 US states and Washington, DC using readily available data on the extent and depth of donations to registered charities claimed on personal income tax returns. The complete report is available (in English only) at www.institutfraser.org.

"This is the 14th consecutive year that Quebec has ranked last among the provinces on the Fraser Institute's index of private charitable giving," said Filip Palda, Fraser Institute senior fellow and professor at the Ecole nationale d'administration publique.

"This generosity gap undoubtedly limits the ability of Quebec charities to serve their communities."

Using personal tax return data from 2010 (the most recent year of comparable data available), the report Generosity in Canada and the United States: The 2012 Generosity Index found that Quebecers donated only 0.31 per cent of the total income earned in the province to registered charities, less than all other provinces. The report also found that just 21.9 per cent of Quebec tax filers claimed a charitable donation on their income tax return, ahead of only New Brunswick (21.3 per cent) and Newfoundland and Labrador (21.1 per cent).

Among Canadian jurisdictions, the report ranked Manitoba as the most generous overall, followed by Prince Edward Island and Saskatchewan. Alberta and Ontario tied for fourth.

Manitobans donated the highest share of total income at 0.92 per cent-nearly three times the amount donated by Quebecers (0.31 per cent). The Canadian average was 0.66 per cent.

"Had Quebecers donated the same share of total income as the Canadian average, Quebec charities would have received an additional $951.4 million in private monetary donations in 2010," Palda said.

Manitoba also had the highest percentage of tax filers donating to registered charities (26.2 per cent), compared to 21.9 per cent of tax filers in Quebec.

For the average dollar value of charitable donations, which does not factor into the overall index, Quebec was last among the provinces and territories giving $641, less than half the national average of $1,469.

When the overall Generosity Index scores were compared across the 64 North American jurisdictions, Quebec placed 59th overall-the lowest-ranked Canadian province. Manitoba, Canada's highest-ranked jurisdiction, tied for 39th overall.

Utah was once again the most generous jurisdiction in North America, with 34.0 per cent of tax filers donating 3.17 per cent of the total income earned in the state-more than 10 times the share of aggregate income donated by Quebecers.

No American state or Canadian province gave a lower share of its total income to charity than the 0.31 per cent donated in Quebec.

"While Americans tend to be much more generous than Canadians, Quebec has the dubious distinction of being the least generous province in Canada," Palda said.

In comparing Quebec and the United States at the national level, private monetary generosity in the U.S. surpassed that of Quebec, with 26.7 per cent of American tax filers donating 1.38 per cent of total income to charity, compared to 21.9 per cent of Quebec tax filers donating 0.31 per cent of total income.

The report calculates that if Quebecers matched the generosity of their American neighbours, Quebec charities would have received an extra $2.9 billion in private contributions in 2010.

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 86 think-tanks. 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 www.fraserinstitute.org.

Contacts:
The Fraser Institute
Filip Palda
Senior Fellow
Professor, Ecole nationale d'administration publique
(514) 312-3704
filip.palda@enap.ca

The Fraser Institute
Sebastien Cote
Director, Quebec
(514) 281-9550 ext. 305
sebastien.cote@institutfraser.org
www.fraserinstitute.org

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