Paul L. Caron

Friday, December 24, 2004

"Generosity Index" Mirrors Red State-Blue State Divide

The Catalogue for Philanthropy has ranked the fifty states on their relative generosity, comparing each state's average itemized charitable deductions with its average adjusted gross income (based on 2002 IRS data).

The 50-state ranking has a decided Red State-Blue State flavor: 27 of the 30 "most generous" states are Red States that voted for President Bush (including all 25 of the "most generous" states), while 17 of the 20 "least generous" states are Blue States that voted for Senator Kerry (including all 7 of the "least generous" states):

Blue and Red States by Charitiable Giving

Note the eerie similarity with the 2004 presidential election map:

Blue and Red States by Electorial College

For media reports, see

(Thanks to the Tax Guru for the tip.)

For prior Red State-Blue State tax posts, see:

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Tracked on May 15, 2005 7:16:37 AM


Since the Churchs do a lot to help the poor, why should it matter whether donations are religious or secular purposes? Not relevant.

Posted by: Marion | Sep 27, 2008 12:18:20 PM

I don't put much stock in this index. The problem is that the "having rank" component is based on adjusted gross income, and as we know, the rich states all went for Kerry and the poor for Bush (a reversal of the stereotype, of course). For a state like Connecticut, #1 in AGI, it's mathematically impossible for it to have a rank relation greater than zero.

That's not to say there's nothing to it. The high giving rank of states like Utah and Wyoming probably reflects tithing to churches. I'd be interested in seeing a breakout of giving into religious and secular purposes.

Posted by: Rick (Centrist Coalition) | Dec 24, 2004 7:16:57 AM