Arizona: A state of Santas, or Scrooges?
During this season of giving, just how charitable are the people of Arizona?
According to a recent analysis by WalletHub.com, residents of Arizona are the fourth-least charitable people in the country, ranking 47 out of 50 states in their donations of time and money. Only California (48th), Louisiana (49th) and Rhode Island (50th) were stingier.
The most charitable state in the nation was Utah, followed by the states of Maryland, Idaho, Oregon and South Dakota.
To obtain these results, WalletHub.com compiled and analyzed data from key sources such as the U.S. Census Bureau, the National Center for Charitable Statistics and the Internal Revenue Service.
How Arizona compares
Arizona's low ranking for charitable giving was in part due to its low participation in volunteering.
At 46th place, only Mississippi (tied with Rhode Island at 47th), Nevada (48th) and Kentucky (50th) volunteered less than residents of Arizona.
Not only did Arizona come up short in total giving, it also ranked near the bottom in the number of charities per capita (47th).
The study found only Mississippi (48th), Utah (49th) and Nevada (50th) had fewer than the state of Arizona.
On the bright side, Arizona did rank mid-pack (26th) in money donated by percentage of income.
What may be more eye-raising are some trends revealed in the data.
Myth: More charities equals more time donated and more money raised.
The irony? Utah, while having nearly the fewest charities per capita (49 out of 50), still ranked first in percentage of people donating time, as well as first in percentage of people donating money.
Myth: Democrats are more charitable than Republicans.
The results of WalletHub's study found that individuals in Republican-voting (Red) states were more generous than individuals in Democratic-voting (Blue) states, even when adjusting for donation as percentage of income.
Red states ranked 22.2 in charitable giving, while Blue states ranked 28.5 in charitable giving, with 1 being the most generous and 50 being the least generous.
Myth: People give more because they have more to give.
Among the least-charitable states in the study, two out of three were among the top 20 income earners nationwide, according to 2014 data by the U.S. Census Bureau.
Although California ranked 48th in charitable giving, it placed 15th in household income ($60,487) nationwide.
Similarly, Rhode Island ranked dead last in charitable giving, yet its household income placed 18th ($58,633).
Only Louisiana's dismal 49th ranking in charitable giving reflects its 49th place in household income ($42,406).
According the U.S. Census Bureau, the median household income in the United States for 2014 was $53,657, with Arizona coming in 39th at $49,254.
The United States ranked second overall in 2015's World Giving Index, with 95.4 percent of households donating to charities.
According to the National Philanthropic Trust, Americans gave more than $338 billion in 2014, with 72 percent from individual donations.