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Monday, April 17, 2006

2005 Charity Index

Solemnity of Easter Monday

I actually have had this analysis since December and never posted it. Because income taxes are due today, I think now is as good a time as any to trot it out. The Charity Index is a cultural tracking indicator of charitable giving among states and the various regions of the United States.

Below is the 2005 charity ranking for the states by index value. A discussion of the technical details and limitations of the Charity Index can be found here. The four-year averages of the charity rate based on IRS tax return data for the years 2000-20003 are also provided by state. Note that the four-year average of the estimated average charitable contribution rate, or the charity rate, for this period in the the United States is 3.06%.

In general, there are only slight changes from the 2004 ranking. Last year, there was a great deal of national discussion about whether individuals from Red States were giving more to charity than those from Blue states (yes, and they still do), but given the mixed bag noted last year in some regions there's a limit to how useful such observations are. Another thing that was observed last year that holds this year is that states with fewer self-identified Catholics appear to be more generous, which I think may be indicative of a blindspot in modern Catholicism, namely the reliance upon bureaucratic, institutional solutions to address social problems; perhaps more on this at a later time.

Rank. State (Index Value, Avg. Charitable Giving Rate)
1. Utah (1.00, 5.88%)
2. Alabama (2.50, 3.95%)
3. Mississippi (4.00, 3.90%)
4. Oklahoma (4.75, 3.87%)
tie. South Carolina (4.75, 3.87%)
6. Arkansas (7.00, 3.75%)
tie. Wyoming (7.00, 3.73%)
8. Georgia (7.50, 3.75%)
9. Idaho (7.75, 3.72%)
10. North Carolina (9.50, 3.62%)
11. Tennessee (10.75, 3.53%)
12. Maryland (12.00, 3.42%)
13. Nebraska (13.50, 3.35%)
14. New York (13.75, 3.29%)
15. Montana (15.00, 3.22%)
16. Kansas (16.50, 3.19%)
tie Oregon (16.50, 3.17%)
18. Kentucky (17.50, 3.15%)
19. Louisiana (19.00, 3.12%)
20. Missouri (20.75, 3.09%)
21. Florida (21.75, 3.07%)
22. Arizona (23.00, 3.03%)
23. Virginia (25.00, 2.99%)
24. Texas (25.25, 3.00%)
25. California (25.75, 2.99%)
26. Michigan (26.50, 2.98%)
27. Delaware (27.25, 2.97%)
28. New Mexico (28.25, 2.98%)
tie. Indiana (28.25, 2.96%)
30. Colorado (28.75, 2.95%)
31. Minnesota (29.25, 2.96%)
32. South Dakota (32.00, 2.87%)
33. Iowa (32.50, 2.90%)
34. Ohio (33.75, 2.87%)
35. Hawaii (34.75, 2.86%)
36. Pennsylvania (36.00, 2.82%)
37. Illinois (36.25, 2.82%)
38. Nevada (37.00, 2.79%)
39. North Dakota (39.25, 2.72%)
40. Washington (40.50, 2.73%)
41. Wisconsin (40.75, 2.68%)
42. West Virginia (42.50, 2.64%)
43. Alaska (43.25, 2.63%)
44. Maine (43.50, 2.61%)
45. New Jersey (45.25, 2.57%)
46. Vermont (45.50, 2.56%)
47. Connecticut (46.25, 2.52%)
48. Massachusetts (47.00, 2.51%)
49. Rhode Island (49.00, 2.45%)
50. New Hampshire (50.00, 2.19%)

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