by Bob Smietana
Call it the modern version of the widow’s mite.
Americans of modest means give more of their income to charity than their wealthy neighbors, according to a new report from The Chronicle of Philanthropy.
The report looks at giving trends from 2006 to 2012, based on IRS data.
During that period, Americans who make less than $100,000 a year upped their giving by 4.5 percent. Giving from those who make over $200,000 dropped 4.6 percent.
Overall, the report found that Americans give about 3 percent of their income to charity. That amounted to $180 billion in 2012. Of that figure, 77.5 billion—or 43 percent—came from wealthy Americans.
Churchgoing and politics also play a role in giving patterns.
States where a lot people go to church—such as Utah, Mississippi, and Alabama—had higher rates of giving. States where people attend church less frequently, such as New Hampshire, Maine, and Vermont, had lower rates of giving.
The states that Mitt Romney won in 2012 also had higher giving rates than states that President Obama won.
Giving went up in Nevada, Idaho, Georgia, Connecticut, and Florida. It went down in Washington, D.C., North Dakota, Delaware, New Jersey, and Maine.
Giving dropped in many big cities, according to the Associated Press.
“In Philadelphia and Buffalo, New York, the share of income given to charity fell by more than 10 percent; there was a 9 percent drop in Los Angeles, Minneapolis-St. Paul, and Washington, D.C,” the AP reported.
Readers can search the results at Philanthropy.com by zip code, city, and state, as well as income level.
The top 5 states for giving are:
The bottom 5 states were:
- Rhode Island
- New Jersey
- New Hampshire
Top 5 giving cities among the 50 biggest in the U.S. were:
- Salt Lake City
Bottom 5 giving cities were:
- San Jose
Bob Smietana (@BobSmietana) is senior writer and content editor of Facts & Trends.