Americans are a generous people, but residents in some states are certainly more generous than others.
The Chronicle of Philanthropy released data for 2012, showing the percentage of income given to charity from each U.S. state and the District of Columbia. What the data shows is that states with higher average incomes are not necessarily the most generous with their money. In fact, the states with lower than average household incomes tend to also be the most generous, giving a higher percentage of household earnings to charity and charitable causes.
At the top of the rankings is the state of Utah, solidly in first place with a giving rate equal to 6.56% of adjusted gross income, based on official IRS data from 2012. New Hampshire came in dead last, contributing only 1.74% of annual AGI to charity and charitable causes last year.
If the rankings were based on total dollars of household income, the outcome would present a completely different picture. States with higher average incomes might give a smaller percentage of earnings to charity, but in fact give more total money. Likewise, states with lower incomes often rank higher than they otherwise would when percentages are used as a basis for comparison. Still, the fact that low income wage earners give so much to charity is impressive and commendable, as they are financially the least able to afford to give.
Here is the full list of rankings, from highest to lowest, for the 50 states and Washington D.C: