NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis


November 23, 2005

The Catalogue for Philanthropy's recently released report measuring charitable donations among households in America found that individuals in New England are the most tightfisted in the country. New Hampshire was ranked as the least generous state followed by Massachusetts, New Jersey, Rhode Island, Wisconsin, Connecticut, Minnesota, Colorado, Hawaii and Michigan.

Based on average adjusted gross incomes and the value of itemized charitable donations reported to the Internal Revenue Service on 2003 tax returns, the index considers both how much one has and how much one gives.

  • According to the Generosity Index for 2005, income rose by 2.6 percent and charitable giving increased by 7.2 percent -- the highest rate of increase since 1998-99.
  • Charitable contributions mainly came from the Bible Belt with the 10 most generous states listed from the top as Mississippi, Arkansas, South Dakota, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Alabama, Louisiana, Utah, South Carolina and West Virginia.

The Center on Philanthropy at Indiana University released a similar new study and found that individuals in New England give less, on average, to charity than people in other regions. However, the percentage of New Englanders who do give is higher than the national average with contributors favoring secular causes more than religious ones.

Source: Audrey Barrick, "Study Finds Charitable Giving Most Generous in Bible Belt," Christian Post, November 22, 2005; based upon: "National Generosity Index 2004 (2002 data)," Catalogue for Philanthropy, November 20, 2005.

For Generosity Index:


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