The Caring Index

Holiday gift-giving is just one way to measure the capacity of people to care for one another. Now United Way has an index that ranks states by their caring.

The winner? Minnesota. It scored 685 points out of a maximum of 1,000, based on such indicators as charity, voluntarism, civic engagement, and education. Massachusetts, Connecticut, New Hampshire, and Maine were right behind. The national average was 536. The least-caring state was New Mexico at 361.

This "caring index," which measures a fundamental interconnectedness of human well-being, has been rising over the past decade. It's a benchmark for nonprofits, businesses, religious institutions, and governments to use in helping people become more generous of heart.

(c) Copyright 2000. The Christian Science Publishing Society

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