Pensioners give more than twice as much to charity as younger people, who are set to donate even less next year.
Over-65s donate 0.49% of their annual income to charity, around £103, while under 30s give 0.24% or £43, according to a survey by the financial services group Foresters.
Retirees predicted they would donate £30 more next year, but younger people said they would decrease their donations by around £4.
Overall, the UK is set to increase charitable donations from an average of £69 to £78, the study among 3,300 people found.
Stephen Dilworth, UK membership director of Foresters, said: "Our findings show that it's not always the wealthiest parts of society which are the most generous. In spite of financial insecurity and the rising cost of living, the over-65s are still the most generous and charitable age group. Youth unemployment and increasing levels of debt are no doubt to blame for the low levels of charitable giving for the under 30s and the predicted low levels in 2013."
The North East and London are the most charitable regions in the UK, giving 0.38% of their annual income to charity.
The North East, which has the lowest salaries and the UK's highest unemployment rate, gave £60 while London, which has the second highest salaries, gave £100.
People in the West Midlands and Yorkshire gave the smallest percentage of their salary, 0.26%, closely followed by the East with 0.27%.
Mr Dilworth said: "While London has often been seen as one of the most charitable regions, it is surprising to see that the North East, a region with the highest unemployment rate and closely associated with the austerity cuts, is in fact one of the most charitable regions in the UK.
"Although this has been a difficult year financially for most of the country, there is a great deal of optimism for 2013, with donations set to increase by 13%."