IRISH PEOPLE are the most giving and charitable people in Europe, according to a new study.
The Charities Aid Foundation's (CAF) World Giving Index 2018 found Ireland was also the fifth most generous nation in the world.
In spite of the global financial downturn of the last decade, 64% of Irish people reported donating money to a charity in the previous month while the same number also reported helping a stranger in need.
The global average for helping a stranger was found to be 51%.
The Irish came just a place behind citizens of the United States and pipped their British neighbours - who came in sixth place in the poll of 150,000 people around the world.
However, only 40% of Irish respondents reported giving their time to a worthwhile cause as a volunteer recently, while even fewer UK residents (33%) said they had volunteered in the past month.
— CAF (@cafonline) 30 October 2018
Overall, in a worrying trend less people around the world gave money to a charity for the second year running.
Indonesia was ranked as the most generous country on earth, followed by Australia and New Zealand.
John Low, Chief Executive of the Charities Aid Foundation, said: "It is forever humbling to see how people across the world continue to be moved to help others, giving their time, donating money and helping strangers.
"It is a basic human instinct to lend a helping hand, and it is always amazing to see how people in countries which have suffered conflict and natural disasters are stirred to help those in need.
"It is good news that this year’s CAF World Giving Index shows a continued increase in giving across Africa. It is also encouraging that last year’s decline in western countries seems to have been reversed".
He added: "But we should be concerned that for the second year running there has been a decline in the proportion of people donating money to good causes. It is a reminder to all of us in civil society that we should never take giving for granted."