10 Most Charitable Cities

David Worley Fannie Mae CharityAs Ebenezer Scrooge could have told you, being wealthy doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re charitable.  I recently came across an article that speaks about a report released on Monday by The Chronicle of Philanthropy.  According to the report, wealthy individuals have scaled back on the amount of money that they’ve been donating to charities, while the less affluent have increased the amount that they’ve donated.  Between 2006 and 2012, Americans who earned $200,000 or more decreased the share of their income that they gave to charity by 4.6 percent.  On the flip side, those whose annual salaries were less than $100,000 donated 4.5 percent more of their income.  The report calculated these numbers through looking at tax returns.  According to the report, these 10 American cities gave the highest percentage of their money to charities:

10. Virginia Beach, VA.  3.3% of annual income.

9. Charlotte, NC.  3.4% of annual income.

8. Dallas-Fort Worth, Texas.  3.6% of annual income.

7. Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.  3.7% of annual income.

6. Jacksonville, Florida.  3.8% of annual income.

5. Nashville, Tennessee.  3.9% of annual income.

4. Atlanta, Georgia.  4% of annual income.

3. Birmingham, Alabama.  4.8% of annual income.

2. Memphis, Tennessee.  5.1% of annual income.

1. Salt Lake City, Utah.  5.4% of annual income.

After I got over the pride swelling in my chest upon seeing that both Charlotte and Dallas were included on this list, I noticed some interesting patterns about these cities.  With the exception of Salt Lake City, all of the cities in this list were southern.  This seems to reaffirm the ancient stereotype of southern hospitality.  Salt Lake City, however, is the center of the Mormon Church, a church known for its missionary and humanitarian work, so it’s hardly surprising that the people who live there would be charitable.  Then I noticed something else that seems to tie all of these cities together: they’re all from very religious parts of the country, and their residents tend to have high church attendance rates.  According to the study, cities with higher church attendance generally donated more of their money to charity than wealthier cities with lower church attendance rates, such as Los Angeles and New York City.  An interesting thing to think about, no doubt.