Red states – Republican-voting states – are more generous than blue states – Democratic-voting states.
Based on a study of the 2008 data from the Internal Revenue Service of taxpayers, The Chronicle of Philanthropy reported, “The eight states where residents gave the highest share of income to charity went for John McCain in 2008. The seven-lowest ranking states supported Barack Obama.”
The Chronicle looked at those who made $50,000 or more a year and itemized deductions.
The study found that middle-class Americans (households with earned income between $50,000 and $75,000) were more generous than households that earned $100,000 or more.
A key factor in charitable giving was religion.
“Religion has a big influence on giving patterns,” said the Chronicle. “Regions of the country that are deeply religious are more generous than those that are not.”
The nation’s most generous state was Utah, where Mormonism teaches tithing and the “typical household claimed charitable contributions totaling 10.6 percent of discretionary income.”
The next top four states were Mississippi, where residents gave 7.2 percent to charity, followed by Alabama (7.1 percent), Tennessee (6.6 percent) and South Carolina (6.4), states with a large number of Baptist churches.
The least generous states were in New England. New Hampshire ranked at the bottom, with residents giving only 2.5 percent to charity, followed by Maine (2.8 percent), Vermont (2.8 percent), Massachusetts (2.8 percent) and Rhode Island (3.1 percent).
President Obama’s home state ranked 29th on the generosity scale with the typical household donating 4.2 percent to charity.
The Obamas, on the other hand, gave 22 percent to charity in 2011, totaling $172,000.
Vice President Biden’s home state of Delaware ranked 27th on the generosity scale. The typical Delaware household gave 4.4 percent to charity.
The Bidens gave less than 1.5 percent in 2011.
The Bidens did make a contribution to a Presbyterian church, but not a Catholic church.
The National Journal reported that in 2008 Sarah Palin, the Republican Party’s vice presidential candidate, gave more “to charity in one year than the Bidens had in the previous 10 years.”
Former Gov. Mitt Romney and his wife gave 16 percent to charity in 2010 and 2011. They gave $3 million in 2010 and $4 million in 2011 on income in excess of $20 million annually.
More than $4 million in those two years went to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
Paul Ryan, the Republican Party’s vice-presidential candidate, and his wife donated 4 percent to charity in 2011 and 1.2 percent in 2010.
The congressman’s home state, Wisconsin, ranked 44th on the giving scale with household contributions at 3.4 percent.