India lags behind neighbours in civic engagement: Gallup poll

By Arun Kumar, IANS
Wednesday, January 19, 2011

WASHINGTON - India is ranked 48th far behind neighbours Sri Lanka, Pakistan and Nepal in a Gallup poll of civic engagement in 130 countries measuring individuals’ likelihood to volunteer their time and assistance to others.

While India scored only 28 percent, Sri Lanka with a 51 percent civic engagement index figured eighth in the global list topped by the United States at 60 percent followed by Ireland with the same score and Australia in the third place with 59 percent.

Pakistan was ranked 27th with a score of 42 percent while Nepal was placed 40th with 30 percent.

In general, the Gallup poll showed people with high civic engagement are positive about the communities where they live and actively give back to them. Data from 130 countries show that, in general, adults in developed countries are much more likely to be civically engaged than those in the developing world, the noted US public opinion research agency said,

Respondents, it said were asked whether they have done any of the following in the past month: donated money to a charity, volunteered time to an organization, or helped a stranger or someone they didn’t know who needed help.

In 127 out of 130 countries, people are much more likely to either say they have helped a stranger in need or donated money in the past month than they are to say they volunteered their time to an organization, the poll found.

While the most civically engaged countries are primarily in the developed world, the level of participation in each activity the index measures varies significantly among countries, it said

For example, 83 percent of Thais say they donated money to charity in the past month, among the highest levels in the world. However, 16 percent say they volunteered their time.

Conversely, Americans are much less likely than Thais to say they donated money, but Americans are among the most likely in the world to say they volunteered their time.

(Arun Kumar can be contacted at

Filed under: Society

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