Monday, November 21, 2005

Mississippi Generosity

Well, Mississippi has been ranked first again in generosity in charitable giving in relation to per capita income. Here's some of the AP report that appeared in the Clarion Ledger today.

Miss. keeps distinction as most charitable state again for giving
The Associated Press

PORTLAND, Maine — Tight-fisted New Englanders traditionally rank at the bottom in an annual index of charitable giving and this year was no exception. But upper-income Mainers stood out as paragons of generosity.

New Hampshire was the most miserly state for the fourth year running and the seventh year in the past nine, according to the Catalogue of Philanthropy. Massachusetts was runner-up in parsimony and Rhode Island and Connecticut also were among the half-dozen stingiest.

Mississippi retained its title as most generous state, one of several in the Bible Belt that ranked high in the latest Generosity Index, whose methodology has come under criticism and helped give rise to new studies of charitable giving.

The index, which takes into account both "having" and "giving," is based on average adjusted gross incomes and the value of itemized charitable donations reported to the Internal Revenue Service on 2003 tax returns, the latest available.

"We believe that generosity is a function of how much one gives to the ability one has to give," said Martin Cohn, a spokesman for the Catalogue for Philanthropy, a Boston-based nonprofit that publishes a directory of nonprofit organizations.

The latest Generosity Index mirrors the results of the 2004 presidential election and the breakdown between so-called "red" and "blue" states. The 25 most generous states all voted for President Bush; 11 of the 12 stingiest wound up in John Kerry's column.

Mississippi, the poorest state with an average income of $34,720, had average contributions of $4,470, the nation's sixth highest. In New Hampshire, by contrast, incomes averaged $50,952 and contributions $2,607.

Top and bottom 10

Most generous
South Dakota
South Carolina
West Virginia

New Hampshire
New Jersey
Rhode Island

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