Study: The Most Generous Cities All Have This One Thing In Common

Thomas Phippen | Reporter

In the most generous cities in America, most adults donate overwhelmingly through local churches, according to a new study.

Churchgoing Americans are among the most generous people in the world, and cities with the highest percentage of people who give to charities are also the cities who give most often to churches, a new report from Barna Group finds.

Barna, a research group that focuses “on the intersection of faith and culture,” found the most generous cities by looking at the percentage of adults who make charitable donations on a regular basis.

Ninety-two percent of adults regularly donate to charitable organizations in El Paso, Texas and the nearby Las Cruces, New Mexico. About 74 percent of those who donate regularly give through local churches and religious institutions, Barna found.

The study also shows that the most generous cities are not necessarily the most well-off or economically “upscale.” Barna defines upscale as the percentage of adults with income greater than $75,000 per year, and downscale as adults with household income of less than $20,000 per year.

In the El Paso/Las Cruces area, for example, only 7 percent of adults are considered upscale, and 13 percent are considered downscale.

“This goes to show that the most generous cities aren’t necessarily the most wealthy,” the research group said in their report.

In fact, the fifth most generous city, Milwaukee, Wis., is considered more economically upscale, with 12 percent of adults who are upscale and 10 percent considered downscale.(RELATED: Donald Trump Confuses Communion Plate For Offertory During Church Visit)

America leads the world as the most generous nation. Americans donated over $373 billion to charities in 2015, and roughly a third of that ($119 billion) directed toward religious institutions, according to Giving USA’s “Annual Report on Philanthropy.”

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