For the fourth year in a row, Utah is the most charitable state in the country, according to a WalletHub.com analysis.
The new report released Monday found the Beehive State ranked first for percentage of donated income, percentage of the population who donated time, volunteer rate and volunteer hours per capita. It ranked second for percentage of the population who donated money.
“Utah is the most charitable state, boasting the highest volunteer rate at 40.7% and the most volunteer hours per capita at 39.42 hours. The state has a high population of religiously devout individuals, and these spiritual beliefs provide the foundation for Utah’s philanthropy,” according to the study.
The analysis found Utahns to be the most financially generous out of all the states, donating 3.89% of their income to help those in need. Plus, more than half of the state’s population donates their time to a good cause.
The Utah Nonprofits Association invites nonprofits to nominate their star volunteers to receive the “Hearts & Hands Award” during its annual Philanthropy Day celebration, highlighting its dedication to supporting the community, WalletHub noted.
WalletHub, a personal finance website, ranked the states on 19 key indicators of charitable behavior, including volunteer hours per capita, population share in collecting/distributing food and clothing, population share donating money, share of income donated and public charities per capita.
Rounding out the top five are Wyoming, Minnesota, Maryland and Maine. The bottom five are Nevada, Rhode Island, Mississippi, New Mexico and Arizona. The report found blue states are more generous than red states.
Churches were included among the public charities, which has long explained Utah’s perennial high ranking in the WalletHub analysis. Salt Lake City is the global headquarters of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and more than 60% of the state’s population identifies as Latter-day Saints, who not only pay tithes and other offerings but volunteer their time to run their local congregations.
The World Giving Index shows that the U.S. rose to third place in 2022 after a significant decline in 2021, when it was ranked 19th among the most generous countries in the world, per WalletHub. U.S. donors in 2022 gave nearly $500 billion to charity, with 64% of the funds coming directly from individuals, according to the National Philanthropic Trust.
Still, according to WalletHub analyst Cassandra Happe, Americans are donating less time and money to charitable causes. Total volunteer hours dropped by 2.82 billion nationwide, a decrease of around 40%, in the last few years.
“People have busier schedules now and many are struggling to make ends meet with the cost of inflation, leaving them with less time and money available to donate,” according to Happe.