Coming in first, 48% of Utah residents donated their time and money recently.

Second, according to Gallup's poll, is Minnesota.

Hawaii is the third most generous state.

4. South Dakota

5. New Hampshire

6. Kansas.

7. Illinois

8. Montana.

9. Idaho.



The States Where People Are The Most (And Least) Generous With Time And Money

States with low populations are exceedingly generous. New York, however, is quite stingy.

Looking for volunteers for a good cause? You’re most likely to have success if you head to Utah.

That’s according to a new survey from Gallup, which breaks down by state where Americans donate the most time and money to charity.

Relatively low population states such as South Dakota, Vermont, Montana, and Idaho topped a list of survey respondents who reported giving a donation and volunteering their time to an organization within the last six months. At 48%, the state of Utah, where about two-thirds of the population is Mormon, contained the highest percentage of people who did both. Across the board, as has been found in past studies, people there were more likely to donate money than give their precious free time to a cause.

Coming in at the bottom of the list were many southern and southwestern states, joined by New York, where only 26% of people gave both time and money recently (with 65% giving a donation and 36% volunteering).

The polling organization also conducts surveys that gauge people’s self-reported well-being, and it has found that the states where people give the most are also the states where people feel most satisfied with their lives. This is an intriguing relationship, as it gives credence to the feel-good notion that we really do feel better when we help others. But as Gallup notes, it’s not easy to pull apart cause and effect. It could be that people who donate are happier, or it could be that people who are happy are willing to donate more.

New Yorkers, Arizonans, and residents of other less generous states shouldn’t feel too bad. Overall, according to Gallup, Americans "show impressive figures for their acts of kindness" when compared to citizens of other countries, especially in their willingness to donate time and to help a stranger.

[Image: Abstract via Shutterstock]

Add New Comment


  • Interesting. Hawaii ranks high here for generosity, but is also ranked in the top 5 (by US Commerce Dept) most expensive states. So it could be said, the folks in Hawaii who could least afford to give are the most generous.

  • Sam Walton

    Your graphic for #1 Utah is actually in Arizona's Monument Valley. The Mitten Buttes are depicted. C'mon guys: do a little research before publishing!

  • Stephanie Ruth Vaughan

    I wold like to see a correlation study between these states and red vs blue states. Does it make a difference in donating time and money when a state is more Democratic?

  • Frank Barnett

    Based on what they show here, it would be difficult to connect the Gallup poll to political leanings. For example, at the top of the list, Utah and Hawaii are the reddest and bluest of states, respectively. The population density argument seems to have a stronger indicator (i.e compare Vermont vs. New York - both blue states).

    That said, I'd be interested in seeing a breakdown by county. Urban counties tend to be more blue and rural ones tend to be red. States like Illinois or New York with both very rural and very urban areas would sure provide a test case for Ms. Leber's assertion that high population density areas are less generous.