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Poor States Take up Charity Slack

Magic City: The Chronicle of Philanthropy reports that of the 50 largest metropolitan areas, four of the five most generous cities were in the Sun Belt — Memphis, Birmingham, Atlanta and Nashville. Birmingham had a giving ratio of 4.77 percent, a median contribution of $4,516 and a median adjusted gross income of $75,734.

Magic City: The Chronicle of Philanthropy reports that of the 50 largest metropolitan areas, four of the five most generous cities were in the Sun Belt — Memphis, Birmingham, Atlanta and Nashville. Birmingham had a giving ratio of 4.77 percent, a median contribution of $4,516 and a median adjusted gross income of $75,734.

Wealthy Americans are putting a smaller share of their income in the collection pot for the needy, but states like Alabama, with comparatively modest incomes but with church-going habits, are doing their part to make up the difference, according to an analysis of IRS data done by the Chronicle of Philanthropy.

The Chronicle released a report last month saying that Americans who earned $200,000 or more reduced the share of their income they gave to charity by 4.6 percent from 2006 to 2012. By comparison, those earning less than $100,000 donated 4.5 percent more of their income.

Mississippi, Alabama and Tennessee followed Utah, respectively, as the states with the most generous givers. The report credited the habit of going to church for the generosity, noting that first-place finisher Utah has a heavy Mormon population. Mormons are heavily encouraged to donate at least 10 percent of their income to charity. Utah residents give $65.60 to charity for every $1,000 they earn, according to the report. 

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