The map of US charitable giving which shows the less well-off are the most generous

by Stephen Tall on August 22, 2012

The US-based Chronicle of Philanthropy has unveiled a jazzy new gizmo on their website mapping How America Gives. Loads of fascinating data to mine — oh for a UK version! — but the one I was most interested in was ‘Percentage of income given by household’, as this is the best measure of philanthropic generosity. $1 million to Bill Gates is nothing, $5k to others is huge — ie, The Parable of the Widow’s Mite.

Here’s what we find:

As the black circle indicates, we see that those with higher income give away less of their money to charity than those with lower income. This isn’t a US phenomenon — as I’ve noted before, such data as there is in the UK shows it’s true here also.

Of course US charitable giving is different to the UK, as much of it is to religious causes. And not all of those causes are what those of us who are liberals would necessarily regard as charitable (or religious).