Analysis: Utah is America’s most charitable state

Blue states are typically more charitable than red states, the analysis found. But Utah is No. 1.

(Trent Nelson | The Salt Lake Tribune) Firefighters, public works employees, and volunteers fill sandbags in South Salt Lake after heavy rains on Wednesday, Aug. 18, 2021.

Utah is the most charitable state in the nation, according to an analysis by WalletHub.com.

The state ranked No. 2 in volunteering and service (trailing only Oregon) and No. 5 in charitable giving (trailing New York, Georgia, Virginia, Colorado), which made for an overall No. 1 ranking in the study by the personal finance website.

WalletHub compared 19 metrics including volunteer rates, volunteer hours per capita, the share of people who would help or donate to neighbors and the rate of food and clothing collection to determine the rankings.

The analysis also looked at the share of income donated in each state, the percentage of the population that donated time or money, public charities per capita and Google searches for “charitable donations.”

Donations of time and money to churches also were included in the calculation. Utah is home to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and about 60% of Utahns belong to the LDS Church, which is headquartered in Salt Lake County. It has no paid clergy and relies on volunteers to donate to and run its programs.

Two of Utah’s neighbors were at the bottom of the list — Arizona was ranked No. 49, and New Mexico was ranked No. 50. Other neighboring state rankings included Colorado (No. 8), Wyoming (No. 12), Idaho (No. 21) and Nevada (No. 44).

WalletHub cited a report from the National Philanthropic Trust that determined Americans gave $471 billion to charity in 2020 — up 5.1% from 2019 — and 69% of that came from individuals. More than 77 million Americans volunteered — a total of 6.9 billion hours, the equivalent of $167 billion.

The WalletHub analysis also found that, overall, blue states are typically more generous than red states. The average ranking of states that voted for Joe Biden in the 2020 presidential election was 23.48; the average ranking of states that voted for Donald Trump was 28.17.

Most charitable states in America

1. Utah.

2. Maryland.

3. Minnesota.

4. Oregon.

5. North Dakota.

6. Pennsylvania.

7. Virginia.

8. Colorado.

9. Ohio.

10. Georgia.

11. Alaska.

12. Wyoming.

13. Washington.

14. Arkansas.

15. Maine.

16. New Hampshire.

17. New York.

18. North Carolina.

19. Massachusetts.

20. Wisconsin.

21. Idaho.

22. South Dakota.

23. Illinois.

24. Delaware.

25. Florida.

26. Connecticut.

27. Montana.

28. Nebraska.

29. Missouri.

30. New Jersey.

31. Indiana.

32. Oklahoma.

33. Kentucky.

34. Texas.

35. Vermont.

36. Kansas.

37. Tennessee.

38. South Carolina.

39. California.

40. Michigan.

41. Hawaii.

42. Iowa.

43. Alabama.

44. Nevada.

45. West Virginia.

46. Rhode Island.

47. Louisiana.

48. Mississippi.

49. Arizona.

50. New Mexico.