"How America Gives," published by The Chronicle of Philanthropy, uses IRS data to determine giving patterns across the country, broken out by income ranges across ZIP codes, counties, and states. Researchers looked at adjusted gross income to determine how much people gave, and the study tracked about 80 percent of all money donated to charity by taxpaying Americans in 2012, the latest year for which IRS data was available.
While most coverage of the report has focused on the finding that top-earners have been giving a smaller share of their income to charity than poorer Americans, The Chronicle study also highlights "giving patterns," broken out by state and compared against how each state voted in the 2012 presidential election, i.e., whether it went for Romney or Obama.
Based on the report, the ten most generous states in the U.S. are:
As one might expect, the spiritual and physical home of the Mormon Church broke for Romney in the last presidential election, and led the way for giving as well, with residents contributing 6.56 percent of their adjusted gross income to charity in 2012.
Residents of the Delta State came in a distant second to their charitable Utah counterparts, with a 4.99 percent rate of giving. They also threw their electoral weight behind the 2012 Republican presidential nominee.
Alabama residents, who mostly lined up behind Romney in the race for the presidency, contributed 4.81 percent of their adjusted gross income to charity in 2012.
Tennesseans, while voting to put Romney in the White House, weren't far behind their southern neighbors in Alabama when it came to giving in 2012, contributing 4.45 percent of their adjusted gross income to charity.
Romney's electoral march across the South continued with his victory over Obama in the Peach State. Residents there contributed 4.20 percent of their adjusted gross income to charity.
Unsurprisingly, South Carolina broke in the Republican nominee's favor in 2012, while residents there donated 4.13 percent of their adjusted gross income to charity.
Heading back out west, Romney won over Idaho voters in 2012 while the state's residents gave 4.09 percent of their income to charity that year.
In the Great Plains state, voters plumped for Romney in 2012 while plonking down 3.94 percent of their adjusted gross income on charitable causes that year.
The state that gave the world Bill Clinton didn't fall for the Obama in 2012, instead giving the nod to Romney. Arkansas residents gave 3.91 percent of their adjusted gross income to charity the same year.
North Carolinians gave 3.63 percent of their adjusted gross income to charity while also giving Romney an electoral victory.
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