Shenzhen 'most charitable city'
Updated: 2011-08-27 08:55
By He Dan (China Daily)
WUHU, Anhui - Shenzhen is the most generous city on the mainland, according to a ranking of Chinese cities' philanthropy, which was released on Friday in Wuhu, a city in Anhui province.
The ranking was made using what is known as the China City Philanthropy Index, on which Shenzhen scored 130.5 points out of a possible 160 points.
Of the more than 50 cities ranked in China, Shanghai came in second place and Beijing in third.
The list, released by the China Charity and Donation Information Center, a nonprofit organization affiliated with the Ministry of Civil Affairs, looked at cities' charitable giving in six different ways. It took into account residents' and businesses' donations, local governments' support of charities, the work of volunteers and the development of charitable organizations.
Experts from the center, Tsinghua University and the Chinese University of Hong Kong worked together to produce the listing.
The cities' charitable giving was measured in three ways: by looking at the total amount of donations they had made, at the average donation made by residents in those places and at how the donations of residents of a particular city compared with that city's gross domestic product.
Shenzhen residents were found to be the most generous. They gave about 394 yuan ($62) a year on average, while the average for all of the cities surveyed was 43 yuan a person.
Xiamen, a city in East China's Fujian province, came in second in the ranking of cities whose residents had given the most. The people living there had given 248 yuan a year on average.
As for the total donations given by residents of a particular city, Shanghai had the most. Those living there gave 5.4 billion yuan in 2008 and 2009.
The ranking also revealed that philanthropic giving is directly related to how prosperous a place is. Most of the cities listed in the top 10 spots of the ranking were wealthy ones in East China.
"We hope the index can provide philanthropic guidance and motivation for China's urbanization," said Liu Youping, deputy director of the China Charity and Donation Information Center.
Liu said Chinese cities are faced with several sources of social trouble, such as widening disparities in wealth and a population that is becoming older. Those can in part be combated with charitable giving.
Xu Jianzhong, deputy head of the Ministry of Civil Affairs' social welfare and charity promotion department, encouraged cities to make the promotion of charity part of their development plans.
Xu, who delivered a keynote speech on Friday at a ceremony marking the release of the list, called on government departments to supervise charitable organizations and help them expand to make them more credible and transparent.
Official statistics show China's charitable donations exceeded 100 billion yuan in both 2008 and 2010. There are now more than 446,000 social organizations in China. They employ about 200,000 professionals and 50 million registered volunteers.