As we speed our way towards the holiday season and try to take a break from sports betting in Massachusetts, it’s worth examining which states are the most charitable when it comes to giving to organizations in need.
With Giving Tuesday on Nov. 29, and hundreds of thousands of Americans donating money to the charity of their choice, BetMassachusetts.com examined where the state stacks up when it comes to its philanthropic endeavors.
Thanks to many Americans writing off their charitable contributions on their yearly tax returns, we can gather data and compare how the various states stack up by that metric and can see the folks of Massachusetts come up a tad short, compared to their national peers.
Using historical data from the Internal Revenue Service, BetMassachusetts.com determined the average charitable contribution deduction (Amount / Number of Contributions) and the average total income (Amount / Number of Incomes Reported) in each state in the 2019 tax year.
Then, BetMassachusetts.com calculated how much of the average total income is donated to charity. Each state was ranked from most generous (1) to least generous (50) based on that percentage.
After all that number-crunching, here’s where Massachusetts lines up when it comes to philanthropic activities.
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U.S. States Charitable Contributions
Massachusetts Among the Least Charitable States in America
The state of Massachusetts ranked 41st in the nation when it comes to average charitable contribution and percentage of income donated to charities.
Overall, residents donated $13,180 on average, ranking behind more than 80% of the nation, including national leaders like Wyoming ($54,107), South Dakota ($28,542), North Dakota ($24,571), Arkansas ($22,671), and Utah ($20,492).
(Remember, it's important to note these numbers are significantly affected by the top tax bracket in each given state, meaning the typical Massachusetts resident likely isn't donating that high of an amount in a given year).
The state wound up falling behind the likes of the District of Columbia ($14,417), and Connecticut ($13,405), based on the state’s average salary of $102,540.
The bottom state for charitable contributions on a money basis was Hawaii at $7,027, followed by Oregon ($8,232), Rhode Island ($8,443), New Jersey ($8,735), and Maryland ($8,876).
The leading states, when it came to percentages, were Wyoming (63.6%), South Dakota (41.9%), Arkansas (38%), North Dakota (32.2%), Tennessee (29.3%), Oklahoma (28.6%), Mississippi ($27.7%), Utah and Alabama (27% each).
The states that Massachusetts ranked ahead of on a percentage basis were Montana (12.2%), California (11.9%), Virginia (11.7%), Rhode Island (11.7%), Oregon (11.3%), Maryland (10.5%), Hawaii (10%), and New Jersey ($9.2%).
The national average for percentage of annual income donated to charity was 17.1%, with the Garden State’s dead-last ranking coming from their average of $8,735 of giving on an average salary of $94,117.
As we approach the holiday season, let's see if Massachusetts residents can step up to the plate to help those in need.
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