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On average, the wealthiest Americans are giving less than ever to charities, while those who have been hit hardest by the recent recession are giving more.
According to figures on the Business Insider website, the wealthiest 1 percent of Americans received 95 percent of income increases since 2009. The other 99 percent the people received an average of 0.1 percent increase in income.
Americans, on average, donate 3 percent of their income to charities, a number that has not changed much over the years, according to a report on the Chronicle of Philanthropy website. What has changed, is just who is doing the giving.
Between 2006 and 2012, the country’s wealthiest reduced the percentage of their income that they donated to charities by 4.6 percent.
“The downturn was a shock to so many of them, and they’ve been nervous and cautious,” said Chronicle editor Stacey Palmer in an article on the Forbes website.
Over the same period, middle- and lower-income Americans increased their charitable giving by 4.5 percent.
“Lower- and middle-income people know people who lost their jobs or are homeless, and they worry that they themselves are a day away from losing their jobs. They’re very sensitive to the needs of other people and recognize that these years have been hard,” Palmer said.
Among some of the report’s other findings:
Utah is the most generous state, where residents give $65.60 of every $1,000 of income. On the other end of the scale, New Hampshire residents donate $17.40 of every $1,000 of income, making it the least generous in the nation.
Las Vegas residents boosted their charitable giving by 14.9 percent from 2006 to 2009, while Buffalo’s dropped by 10 percent over the same period. Four of the five most generous cities are in the Sun Belt – Memphis, Atlanta, Birmingham, and Nashville.
Author: Martin Paine