What Are The Most (And Least) Charitable U.S. States?

By Bill Chappell NPR

There are only two U.S. states where at least 50 percent of residents say they’ve recently given either money or time to charity: Utah and Minnesota, according to a new Gallup poll. Nevada and Kentucky tied for the lowest rate of charitable giving.

The poll was conducted in the last six months of 2013, when at least 600 residents of each state were asked whether they had donated money to a charity or volunteered at an organization within the past month.

Gallup produced a map based on the poll results, which found that after the top two charitable states, Hawaii, South Dakota, and New Hampshire rounded out the top five (see the full list of states below).

One finding held true for all 50 states: People were more likely to have donated money than time, Gallup says. Even in the states that ranked lowest in the findings, more than 50 percent of the residents said they had donated money to charity.

Here are the states that were ranked lowest in the poll:

“The percentage of those donating [both] money and volunteering time was below 30 percent in 10 states — Nevada, Kentucky, New York, Mississippi, Arizona, Arkansas, North Carolina, West Virginia, Rhode Island, and Louisiana.”

The results jibe with what Gallup called “well-being” scores in a recent study, as the organization says that people who are thriving are also more likely to give back to their communities.

Gallup also notes that “Americans as a whole do show impressive figures for their acts of kindness compared with the rest of the world.” It cited a 2011 study that found U.S. residents were more likely than many others to give to charity or to help a stranger.

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