The Stingiest City In the U.S. Is...
...Hartford, Connecticut. And the most generous is Salt Lake City, Utah.
That's the word from The Chronicle of Philanthropy, which has ranked the top 10 most generous and least generous U.S. metropolitan areas based on the percentage of discretionary income that residents give to charity. Hartford residents give away just 4.7 percent of their discretionary cash, compared with Salt Lake City residents who donate a whopping 14.9 percent.
The top 10 stingiest cities:
1. Hartford, Connecticut: 4.7 percent
2. Providence-Fall River-Warwick, Rhode Island: 5.1 percent
3. Boston-Worcester-Lawrence, Massachusetts: 5.2 percent
4. Buffalo-Niagara Falls, New York: 5.8 percent
5. (tie) New Orleans, Louisiana: 5.9 percent
5. (tie) Las Vegas, Nevada: 5.9 percent
7. Austin-San Marcos, Texas: 6.0 percent
8. (tie) Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania: 6.1 percent
8. (tie) Miami-Ft. Lauderdale, Florida: 6.1 percent
8. (tie) Philadelphia-Wilmington, Delaware-Atlantic City, New Jersey: 6.1 percent
The top 10 most generous cities:
1. Salt Lake City-Ogden, Utah: 14.9 percent
2. Grand Rapids-Muskegon-Holland, Michigan: 10 percent
3. (tie) Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minnesota: 8.5 percent
3. (tie) Greensboro-Winston-Salem-High Point, North Carolina: 8.5 percent
5. (tie) Memphis, Tennessee: 8.4 percent
5. (tie) Dallas-Fort Worth, Texas: 8.4 percent
7. Nashville, Tennessee: 8.3 percent
8. (tie) San Antonio, Texas: 8.1 percent
8. (tie) Houston-Galveston-Brazoria, Texas: 8.1 percent
10. (tie) Oklahoma City, Oklahoma: 8 percent
10. (tie) Norfolk-Virginia Beach-Newport News, Virginia: 8 percent
To come up with these lists, The Chronicle of Philanthropy analyzed 1997 tax returns for households earning more than $50,000 a year that itemized deductions, including charity donations, reports The Associated Press. To determine the amount of discretionary income, the researchers deducted food, taxes, and other basic living costs from total incomes. It from this number that the percentage of charitable donations was calculated.
For the Salt Lake City-Ogden region, discretionary income was figured at $39,345 per household. At 14.9 percent, that means Salt Lake families give away $5,862 annually. Most of the charitable giving in Utah is donated to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in the form of tithing. Nationwide, more than $3 of every $4 donated was given to houses of worship and religious causes, the study found.