The Most Generous States

By Amanda Postma - Nov. 16, 2020

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Thanksgiving isn’t far away. And then soon after that, the holidays are going to be here.

‘Tis the season of giving. From the Salvation Army ringing their bells to collect money for the less fortunate to finding the perfect gift for your friend, we all spend a lot of money during the holiday season.

In fact, the average American spends about $1,050 on things like gifts, travel and other goodies. On average, the American household donates $2,520 a year to charities.

Typically, people will wait to donate at the end of each year. In fact, around 34% of all donations are collected in the last three months of the year.

This made us curious to see who was the most generous in the country.

By looking over the percent of income donated to charity, how many people volunteer and the average volunteer hours, we were able to determine that these 10 states are the most generous.

Top 10 Most Generous States

  1. Utah
  2. Idaho
  3. Kansas
  4. Alaska
  5. Oregon
  6. Nebraska
  7. Minnesota
  8. Washington
  9. Wyoming
  10. Oklahoma

Generosity flows through these states throughout the entire year, not just during the holiday season.

From donating money to donating their time, these states know how to help those in need. Keep reading to find our full list of generous states.

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How We Determined This

Each state was equally ranked 1-to-50 in 3 categories:

  • Percent of income donated to charity
  • Percent of residents who volunteer
  • Average Yearly Volunteer Hours

This looks at the two things most people have to give- money and time. The percent of income donated to charity comes from Chronicle of Philanthropy.

Our information on volunteer participation and the average yearly volunteer hours comes from The National Service.

1. Utah

utah class=

Volunteer Rate: 46%
Percent of Income Donated: 10.6%
Average Volunteer Hours: 81.9

As the most generous state, Utah has quite a bit of impressive stats when it comes to donating time and money. The state has the highest volunteer rate of 46%, the highest percentage of income donated at 10.6%, and the highest volunteer hours at 81.9. It’s quite clear that people in Utah have big hearts when it comes to helping others.

2. Idaho

idaho class=

Volunteer Rate: 35%
Percent of Income Donated: 6.4%
Average Volunteer Hours: 57.4

Idaho comes in as the second-most generous state, and we think it’s mainly because of how many volunteer hours are donated throughout the year. Idahoans donate an average of 57.4 hours of their personal time each year. That’s the second-highest in the U.S.

3. Kansas

kansas class=

Volunteer Rate: 38%
Percent of Income Donated: 4.8%
Average Volunteer Hours: 44.7

The third-most generous state in the U.S. is none other than Kansas. The midwestern state has a heart (and wallet) made of gold based on how much the residents are able to donate and volunteer. In fact, it has the fifth-highest percentage of volunteers at 38%.

4. Alaska

alaska class=

Volunteer Rate: 39%
Percent of Income Donated: 4.3%
Average Volunteer Hours: 53.1

There are two important reasons why Alaska is next on our list. The 39% volunteer rate and 53.1 average volunteer hours can be attributed to why the state is fourth-most generous.

5. Oregon

oregon class=

Volunteer Rate: 33%
Percent of Income Donated: 4.6%
Average Volunteer Hours: 50.3

Oregon is the fifth-most generous state. With a 50.3 average of volunteer hours, it’s not hard to see why. Add in the 33% volunteer rate and that 4.6% of all income is donated and you have yourself a pretty generous state.

6. Nebraska

nebraska class=

Volunteer Rate: 42%
Percent of Income Donated: 4.1%
Average Volunteer Hours: 47.9

With a lot of income being donated, it’s easy to see why Nebraska is the sixth-most generous state in the country. Out of all of the states, Nebraska has the second-highest volunteer rate at 42%. Plus, the 47.9 average volunteer hours aren’t anything to scoff at either.

7. Minnesota

minnesota class=

Volunteer Rate: 40%
Percent of Income Donated: 4.1%
Average Volunteer Hours: 45.2

The cold winters in Minnesota don’t stop residents from helping others in need. While it’s the seventh-most generous state, it has the third-highest volunteer rate of 40%. On top of that, the average volunteer there donates 45.2 hours every year.

8. Washington

washington class=

Volunteer Rate: 36%
Percent of Income Donated: 4.1%
Average Volunteer Hours: 54.5

The state of Washington is No. 8 when it comes to giving. The average volunteer donates 54.5 hours of their time each year, which is the third-highest amount in the U.S. We’re impressed.

9. Wyoming

wyoming class=

Volunteer Rate: 37%
Percent of Income Donated: 4.2%
Average Volunteer Hours: 45.3

Wyoming knocks out the rest of the states for its spot as the ninth-most generous state. The title is earned easily what with the state’s volunteer rate at 37%. And don’t forget about the 45.3 average hours donated by volunteers each year.

10. Oklahoma

oklahoma class=

Volunteer Rate: 30%
Percent of Income Donated: 5.6%
Average Volunteer Hours: 43.6

Oklahoma wraps up the list of the most generous states at No. 10. With 5.6% of income donated and 43.6 average volunteer hours, the state spends a lot of time and money helping out those who are less fortunate.

’Tis the Season of Giving

Every year, more and more people figure out ways to donate and give what they can to people who are in need.

From food drives to volunteering at the local food bank, there are plenty of ways to help. And the states above have got it figured out.

These states are the most generous when it comes to giving back to their community. Here’s the rest of the list.

Rank State Volunteer Rate Percent Of Income Donated Volunteer Hours
1 Utah 45.9% 10.6% 81
2 Idaho 35.1% 6.4% 57
3 Kansas 38.3% 4.8% 44
4 Alaska 38.8% 4.3% 53
5 Oregon 33.3% 4.6% 50
6 Nebraska 42.4% 4.1% 47
7 Minnesota 40.4% 4.1% 45
8 Washington 35.6% 4.1% 54
8 Wyoming 37.3% 4.2% 45
10 Oklahoma 30.3% 5.6% 43
11 Montana 37.7% 4.0% 51
12 Maryland 29.4% 5.7% 43
13 Indiana 29.6% 4.5% 44
13 Missouri 31.8% 4.4% 43
15 Iowa 38.0% 3.9% 42
16 Alabama 28.2% 7.1% 38
16 North Carolina 29.0% 5.9% 39
16 South Dakota 37.2% 4.1% 40
19 Colorado 32.2% 4.2% 40
19 Virginia 28.5% 4.8% 40
21 Vermont 37.2% 2.8% 47
22 South Carolina 28.6% 6.4% 37
23 Michigan 32.2% 4.5% 36
24 Kentucky 29.7% 4.8% 33
25 New Mexico 27.8% 4.5% 40
25 Texas 27.8% 5.1% 37
27 Tennessee 25.4% 6.6% 31
28 Arizona 24.9% 4.6% 39
29 Connecticut 30.7% 3.3% 40
30 Wisconsin 36.5% 3.4% 36
31 Georgia 24.4% 6.2% 33
32 Hawaii 25.1% 4.5% 37
32 Ohio 30.3% 4.1% 33
34 Arkansas 24.7% 6.3% 31
34 New Hampshire 32.0% 2.5% 38
36 Maine 33.0% 2.8% 36
36 Mississippi 24.2% 7.2% 28
38 Illinois 29.0% 4.2% 32
38 Pennsylvania 29.5% 3.9% 36
40 California 25.5% 4.4% 34
41 North Dakota 35.6% 3.5% 29
42 Delaware 26.3% 4.4% 32
42 West Virginia 25.2% 3.9% 40
44 Florida 21.8% 4.6% 31
45 Louisiana 21.2% 5.3% 22
46 New York 20.1% 4.7% 24
47 New Jersey 25.2% 3.7% 31
48 Massachusetts 27.8% 2.8% 29
49 Rhode Island 27.8% 3.1% 27
50 Nevada 17.5% 3.9% 24

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Amanda Postma

Author

Amanda Postma

Amanda Postma is a writer for the Zippia Career Advice blog with a focus on creating entertaining content to help you through your job search. She received her BA from the University Of Missouri-Columbia.

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