Republicans or Democrats: Who Gives More?

A new report compares charitable giving by state with how the states voted in the 2008 election: red or blue. Can you guess which party is more generous?

As President Obama and Mitt Romney campaign across America, it might benefit them to look at local giving levels to predict future voting:

States that voted Republican in the last presidential race are far more likely to be generous to charities than those voting Democratic, according to a report by the Chronicle of Philanthropy. Cities and states, it turns out, are just as polarized as in the nation’s electorate.

In "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, 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. The fiscal information was collected through reports to the IRS and may skew to higher income individuals who itemize charitable deductions.


red District of Columbia

blue Mississippi

red Alabama

red Tennessee

red Idaho

red South Carolina

red Arkansas

red Georgia

red North Carolina

blue Maryland

blue Oklahoma

red Louisiana

red Texas

red Kansas

red Kentucky

red Virginia

blue New York

blue Arizona

red Florida

blue Oregon


More on this story

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

Interactive Map on Charitable Giving in U.S. Neighborhoods

Patch Calendar of Charitable Events in Land O' Lakes

Chuck R August 21, 2012 at 01:36 PM
I know this is obvious, but I think one factor in this is the widely held belief that a significant number of Democrats don't have extra money, while we can be reasonably sure that the wealthiest people in our country are Republicans. I really don't think that this is a stretch.
Teresa Kohan August 21, 2012 at 02:27 PM
Chuck...my family,growing up, was on the verge of poverty. But our Christian belief that 'it is more blessed to give than to receive' and compasssion for others led my parents to give above their means. Yet, God always provided and we never were hungry, even if dinner was a can of tomatoes over bread. Look at the states above..do you believe those people are wealthy? In my experience, the only wealthy people who are generous are those with a strong spiritual core. Just my opinion.
Marie Hood August 06, 2013 at 04:07 PM
Liberals average 6 percent higher incomes than conservatives.


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