These Are the Most Charitable States in the Country


Openly bragging about how charitable you are is sort of antithetical to the whole notion of giving back. It's supposed to be about altruism and the spirit of service and all that. But that's not to say people aren't naturally curious about just how generous the people around them really are. Everyone sort of wants to know where they stand, and now it's a bit easier to do just that thanks to a new report that ranks all 50 states according to how charitable the citizens who live there are.

Just in time for the season of giving, the folks at WalletHub have crunched the numbers to determine the most charitable states in the country, ranking them using 18 different indicators across two distinct categories: volunteering & service and charitable giving. Specifically, they took into account data on things like volunteer hours per capita and share of population collecting and distributing food as well as the share of income donated, share of sheltered homeless, and Google Search interest for "charitable donations." 

Topping the list in 2018 as the most charitable state is Minnesota, followed by Utah, and New York. Meanwhile, Nevada lands in last place, with Rhode Island and Arizona coming in as the second and third least charitable states, respectively. Here's what the full ranking looks like.

50. Nevada
49. Rhode Island
48. Arizona
47. Louisiana
46. Hawaii
45. New Mexico
44. Montana
43. Texas
42. Kentucky
41. Indiana
40. Alabama
39. California
38. Idaho
37. Mississippi
36. Michigan
35. West Virginia
34. Iowa
33. North Dakota
32. Florida
31. Tennessee
30 Nebraska
29. Vermont
28. Arkansas
27. South Carolina
26. Massachusetts
25. Missouri
24. Delaware
23. North Carolina
22. South Dakota
21. Alaska
20. Kansas
19. Oklahoma
18. New Jersey
17. Oregon
16. Illinois
15. Colorado
14. Maine
13. Ohio
12. Wyoming
11. Pennsylvania
10. Wisconsin
9. New Hampshire
8. Washington
7. Georgia
6. Virginia
5. Connecticut
4. Maryland
3. New York
2. Utah
1. Minnesota

While certain states are clearly home to more generous folks overall, it's worth noting that Americans in general are some of the most charitable citizens in the world. According to the World Giving Index, Americans rank fourth out of 140 countries. In fact, 70% of the more than $410 billion US donors gave to charity in 2017 came from individuals, according to the National Philanthropic Trust, per WalletHub's findings.

The overall ranking is enlightening, but it also doesn't tell the full story, as certain states rank higher in specific areas. For instance the state with the highest percentage of people collecting/distributing food is West Virginia, while the state with the most charities per capita is Vermont. Georgia and Utah tied for having the highest percentage of donated income. 

Still, Nevada, Rhode Island, and Arizona among many others have some work to do to keep up.

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Joe McGauley is a senior writer for Thrillist. Follow him @jwmcgauley.