Around the Great Recession years, wealthy Americans are giving less of their income to charity while middle- and low-earners give more—and those who supported Mitt Romney for president give the most of all, the Christian Science Monitor reports. According to the Chronicle of Philanthropy, Americans who make over $200,000 gave 4.6% less of their income to charity between 2006 and 2012, and those banking under $100,000 gave charitable causes 4.5% more of their income. Yet the 4.6% less given by the wealthy still amounts to $4.6 billion more annually when adjusted for inflation (perhaps evidence that the rich are getting richer?).
Using IRS data, the report found that all 17 states giving the highest income percentage to charity voted for Romney in the last presidential election. Utah tops the list, with a rate of 6.6%, ahead of Mississippi, Alabama, Tennessee, and Georgia. Chronicle editor Stacy Palmer says church attendance plays a role in people's inclination to donate: Mormons, for example, make up about 62% of Utah's population and are told to give at least 10% to charity. "Religion has always played an important role in giving," Palmer says, adding that secular people are also giving more in Bible Belt states. What hasn't changed: Americans are donating an average of 3% of their income to charity, as they have for decades, Reuters reports. (Read more charity stories.)