Keeping Track: most-charitable states

Another indication of the largess of the poor?

When it comes to charitable giving, by at least one measure, you can't beat good ol' Southern hospitality.

The latest "Generosity Index" by the Washington-based Urban Institute reveals that cumulative charitable giving by individuals in relatively poorer areas of the country outstrips that of the 'New Economy' states.

The survey looked at tax returns for 1998 and compared states' average adjusted gross income with average itemized charitable deductions, which are thought to account for 80 percent of charitable giving.

The five most-charitable states (with average charitable deduction and rank of average adjusted gross income):

1. Mississippi $4,070 (49)

2. Arkansas $4,157 (46)

3. South Dakota $4,394 (44)

4. Louisiana $3,637 (42)

5. Tennessee $4,572 (34)

The five least-charitable states (with average charitable deduction and rank of average adjusted gross income):

1. Massachusetts $2,645 (4)

2. New Hampshire $2,253 (10)

3. New Jersey $2,668 (3)

4. Minnesota $2,742 (2)

5. Rhode Island $2,059 (18)

(c) Copyright 2000. The Christian Science Publishing Society

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