Moving America Forward

What’s the Most Generous City in America?

April 11, 2014
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What’s the Most Generous City in America?
Stephen Maturen/Getty Images
The answer might surprise you.

We’ve always been a bit wary of reports that rank cities based on which is “The Most” or “The Best” in some particular way. But a new study published by CreditDonkey.com attempts to discover the 10 most generous cities in the U.S. If you live in one of them, permission granted to be proud.

The study focused on generosity both in terms of time and money. To examine time, the researchers studied 2012 data from the Corporation for National and Community Service. Minneapolis had the highest rate, with 36.7 percent of citizens volunteering.

To examine financial generosity, the site used recent IRS data to show which states’ citizens reported the most charitable contributions. On total dollar contributions, New York won.

In an attempt to weed out what they refer to as a “high lack of generosity,” the researchers used FBI data to look at cities where theft was most rampant. Topping this (unwanted) list?  Hammond, Louisiana.

Obviously, this study focused on a narrow form of measurable generosity — after all, community service logs don’t account for daily kindnesses paid to strangers or political activism that results in better working conditions. And tax-reported charitable contributions certainly aren’t the only way to show financial generosity. Even high rates of theft don’t necessarily indicate low generosity; they might simply indicate high rates of poverty.

That said, according to the final rankings, New York City is the most generous of all the American cities. The Big Apple has the highest per capita financial donation rate, and the Food Bank for New York City is the largest anti-hunger charity in the United States. Detroit also made the list, with an average $474 donation per person. Other cities that CreditDonkey lists as generous are Atlanta, Denver, and Dallas.

The next time you’re planning a vacation, perhaps it’s worth checking out one of these generous communities.

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