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Republicans or Democrats: Who's More Giving?

A new study compares charitable giving levels by state to how states voted in the 2008 election: red or blue. Guess which party is more generous?

As President Obama and Mitt Romney campaign across America, they might want to check the local giving statistics to forecast future voting patterns: States that voted Republican in the last presidential race are far more likely to be generous to charities than those that voted Democratic, a new study suggests. Cities and states, it turns out, are just as polarized as in the nation’s electorate.

In a special report titled "How America Gives," The Chronicle of Philanthropy ranked states by how much residents give to charity. The report then looked at how the 50 states voted in the 2008 presidential election.

Here are some key results, as well as how Florida ranked:

  • Utah, which voted Republican, ranked highest with 10 percent of income given on average to charity after taxes, housing, food, and other living expenses.
  • Eight of the top 10 more charitable states voted Republican in 2008. (See chart.)
  • Florida, which voted for Obama in 2008, ranked 19th in giving. In Florida, the typical household gave 4.6 percent of income to charity on average after taxes and living expenses.

As the nation seeks to recover from the worst economic slide since the Great Depression, the cities and states with the most generous residents may be in a better position to help the millions of people still suffering from joblessness and other financial setbacks, say experts.

Here are the top 20 states, the estimated median contribution of individuals in 2008, the percent of income it represents, and how the state voted in the 2008 election.

Utah
$5,255
10.6%

red District of Columbia
$2,995
7.7%

blue Mississippi
$3,998
7.2%

red Alabama
$4,007
7.1%

red Tennessee
$3,807
6.6%

red Idaho
$3,155
6.4%

red South Carolina
$3,429
6.4%

red Arkansas
$3,554
6.3%

red Georgia
$3,396
6.2%

red North Carolina
$3,132
5.9%

blue Maryland
$2,969
5.7%

blue Oklahoma
$3,116
5.6%

red Louisiana
$3,252
5.3%

red Texas
$3,284
5.1%

red Kansas
$2,800
4.8%

red Kentucky
$2,452
4.8%

red Virginia
$2,790
4.8%

blue New York
$2,266
4.7%

blue Arizona
$2,436
4.6%

red Florida
$2,610
4.6%

blue Oregon
$2,163
4.6%

blue

More on this story

"How America Gives," Special Report by the Chronicle of Philanthropy.

Interactive Map on Charitable Giving in U.S. Neighborhoods.

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