Charity in America – Surprising Insights

Charitable Giving in the United States
Who tops our “Shame Score”?

A report was released today by The Chronicle of Philanthropy, titled “How America Gives.”  The report maps charitable giving by state, city and neighborhood, by analyzing IRS personal income tax data at the zip code level.  Using the amount of charitable deductions, The Chronicle’s report showed which places gave the greatest (and least) portion of their income to charity.  (Actually, the report would be more accurately named “Where America Gives,” not “How.”)

I did a similar analysis about a year ago, using the same data, and I’m pleased to see we reached the same conclusions.  To summarize it simply, the poor give a greater percent of their income to charity than the wealthy, and people are more likely give more in states that vote Republican and are strongly religious.

The states with the highest percentage of claimed charitable contributions are Utah, Mississippi, Alabama, Tennessee, and South Carolina.  The least generous states are New Hampshire, Maine, Vermont, Massachusetts, and Rhode Island.

I must admit, this is not what I had expected to find.

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2012 Manliest Cities

ernest hemingway with a manly beard and sweater

Time flies!  It’s time again for one of our most popular studies, our fourth annual list of America’s Manliest Cities.

It elicits a chuckle from some folks – but not only is Manliness important, it turns out it’s also quite quantifiable.

We look at things like number of major-league sports teams, nearby NASCAR events, steakhouses and BBQ joints. Prevalence of activities like woodworking, fishing, bowling, and home improvement also translated into higher rankings. On the flip side, “unmanly” things like minivans, sushi restaurants and home decor stores hurt cities’ “Manly” score.

Once again the South and the Midwest dominated the top spots. Here’s the full list, along with how each city changed its ranking from last year:

1. Oklahoma City, OK (▲ 2 spots) 26. Salt Lake City, UT (▼ 7 spots)
2. Columbia, SC (▲3 spots) 27. Columbus, OH (▼9 spots)
3. Memphis, TN (▲ 1 spot) 28. Orlando, FL (▲ 2 spots)
4. Nashville, TN (▼ 3 spots) 29. Philadelphia, PA (▼ 9 spots)
5. Birmingham, AL (▲ 2 spots) 30. Grand Rapids, MI (▼ 1 spot)
6. Houston, TX (▲ 3 spots) 31. Detroit, MI (▼ 6 spots)
7. St. Louis, MO (▲ 3 spots) 32. Portland, OR (▲ 5 spots)
8. Toledo, OH (▲ 4 spots) 33. Buffalo, NY (▲ 1 spot)
9. Cleveland, OH (▼ 3 spots) 34. Denver, CO (▼ 3 spots)
10. Charlotte, NC (▼ 8 spots) 35. Baltimore, MD (▼ 7 spots)
11. Louisville, KY (▲ 2 spots) 36. Miami, FL (▲ 8 spots)
12. Cincinnati, OH (▲ 2 spots) 37. Chicago, IL (▼ 13 spots)
13. Indianapolis, IN (▼ 2 spots) 38. Las Vegas, NV (No change)
14. New Orleans, LA (▲ 3 spots) 39. New York, NY (▼ 4 spots)
15. Dallas, TX (▲ 6 spots) 40. Minneapolis, MN (▼ 4 spots)
16. Pittsburgh, PA (No change) 41. Seattle, WA (No change)
17. Atlanta, GA (▲ 6 spots) 42. Harrisburg, PA (▼ 2 spots)
18. Dayton, OH (▲ 8 spots) 43. Washington, DC (▼ 1 spot)
19. Milwaukee, WI (▼ 11 spots) 44. Sacramento, CA (▼ 1 spot)
20. Kansas City, MO (▼ 5 spots) 45. Rochester, NY (▲ 1 spot)
21. Jacksonville, FL (▲ 12 spots) 46. Los Angeles, CA (▲ 4 spots)
22. Richmond, VA (No change) 47. Boston, MA (▼ 2 spots)
23. Tampa, FL (▲ 16 spots) 48. Oakland, CA  (▼ 1 spot)
24. Providence, RI (▲ 3 spots) 49. San Francisco, CA (▼ 1 spot)
25. Phoenix, AZ (▲ 7 spots) 50. San Diego, CA (▼ 1 spot)

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Manliest Cities

Where do America’s REAL men live?  “America’s Manliest Cities” is one of most entertaining studies I do, and it always seems to get a big reaction across the nation.  I’m not surprised - having one’s manhood appraised is definitely bound to start some spirited discussion!

This is the third year we’ve done the study, partnering with the good folks at Combos, the “official cheese-filled snack of NASCAR.”  (I’m not kidding.)

This year good ole’ Nashville, TN grabbed the top spot, and Charlotte, NC was runner-up.  In fact, all of the top 10 Manliest Cities were in the South or Midwest.  Must be all that macho stuff like country music, huntin’, and grillin’.

Actually, we did consider things like number of BBQ restaurants, as well as rodeos, sports events, and manly occupations.  Of course, this is just the tip of the iceberg… there’s a lot more to the study.

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