11/10/2004

Generosity Index

Via Michelle Malkin and Powerline...

The Generosity Index is an ingeniously simple metric of charitable giving as a percentage of income. Take the states and rank them in order of average gross income; that rank is the state's "Having" score. Then, take the states and rank them in order of the average itemized charitable contribution; that rank is the state's "Giving" score. Compute the difference between the two scores for each state, and you get a simple number giving you an idea of that state's generosity.

For example, Mississippi is last on the list for average gross income, so their "Having" score is 50. They are 5th on the list for average itemized charitable contribution, so their "Giving" score is 5. "Having" minus "Giving" produces a generosity score of 45, the highest in the nation.

By way of comparison, New Hampshire is 9th on the list for average gross income, so their "Having" score is 9. They are 48th on the list for average itemized charitable deduction, so their "Giving" score is 48. "Having" minus "Giving" produces a generosity score of -39, the lowest in the nation.

The complete list of states and their scores as well as the data behind the scores are at the Catalogue for Philanthropy website.

Oh, by the way. You're going to have to scroll down a bit to find a blue state. Way down. Keep going. You'll have to go to #26 before you find one - New York.

So the next time you hear someone disparaging the ignorant hillbilly rednecks of red-state America, remind them that the people of Alabama make a higher average charitable contribution than the people of New York, California, or Massachusetts. Then tell them to write a check.