Small-government, God-fearing Americans are more charitable than their secular, progressive counter parts.
According to a new study by the Chronicle of Philanthropy, “[d]onors in Southern states, for instance, give roughly 5.2 percent of their discretionary income to charity—both to religious and to secular groups—compared with donors in the Northeast, who give 4.0 percent.”
The most generous five states of the union are Utah, Mississippi, Alabama, Tennessee, and South Carolina — all red states.
The least generous states are Rhode Island, Massachusetts, Vermont, Maine and New Hampshire — all blue states.
Utah is the most generous, giving over ten percent of its discretionary income to religious or secular charities.
“The reasons for the discrepancies among states, cities, neighborhoods are rooted in part in each area’s political philosophy about the role of government versus charity,” the study’s authors noted of last years study, that found the same trend. The author also noted that “religion has a big influence on giving patterns.”
“Regions of the country that are deeply religious are more generous than those that are not. Two of the top nine states—Utah and Idaho—have high numbers of Mormon residents, who have a tradition of tithing at least 10 percent of their income to the church,” the study states. “The remaining states in the top nine are all in the Bible Belt.”
According to a poll by the Huffington Post and YouGov, political affiliation also increases likelihood of donation. “Registered voters are about twice as likely to give back in both ways than people not registered to vote,” the poll found.