Who gives the most?

The Chronicle of Philanthropy issued a new report today highlighting the giving patterns of each state in the US. What have been dubbed “red states” tend to give at higher levels than “blue states,” with Utah, Mississippi, Alabama, Tennessee, and South Carolina taking the top five spots. The six New England states round out the bottom of the list, with New Hampshire coming in last (though the Granite State is more purple than blue). Click here to see more.

Red states tend to be more religious than blue states, and much of the money given to charity in those states goes to churches and religious institutions. Once those are removed from the tally, the South and Midwest lag behind the Northeast and West in percentage of income given to charity.

Advertisement

A fascinating glimpse into the study shows that when the very wealthy congregate in one ZIP code, giving barely registers at all:

The Chronicle’s study found that when wealthy people are heavily clustered in a neighborhood—meaning that when households making more than $200,000 a year account for more than 40 percent of the taxpayers—the affluent households give an average of only 2.8 percent of discretionary income to charity.

That’s lower than the overall giving rate in all but four of the nation’s 366 metropolitan areas.

Paul Piff, a postdoctoral scholar in psychology at the University of California at Berkeley, says he has conducted studies showing that as wealth increases, people become more insulated, less likely to engage with others, and less sensitive to the suffering of others.

Comments are automatically closed two weeks after an article's initial publication. See our comments policy for more.

Advertisement

The latest from america

Join Kirsten Powers, CNN analyst and USA Today columnist, and Rev. James Martin, S.J., Editor at Large of America Media and New York Times best-selling author, for a live show celebrating the 100th episode of Jesuitical.
America Media EventsApril 24, 2019
Prayers for Our Lady. Photo by Melissa Vida.
The air was still thick with smoke and the ash burnt the eyes of the onlookers, who were relieved to see the cathedral still standing. For many Catholics, the coincidence of the blaze occurring at the start of Holy Week speaks of the greater mysteries of Easter.
Melissa VidaApril 19, 2019
"Hillary and Clinton"
In Hnath’s play, Hillary has put all her bets on competence, while Bill unsurprisingly presses her to show more humanity.
Rob Weinert-KendtApril 19, 2019
The day before this issue went to press, we watched on our newsroom monitors the devastating fire at the Cathedral of Notre-Dame in Paris.
Matt Malone, S.J.April 19, 2019