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.

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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.

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