News and analysis
October 05, 2014

How Much People Give in the Largest Cities

This article was updated on January 13, 2015. See our editor’s note.

Only two of the 50 biggest metropolitan areas—Salt Lake City and Memphis—gave more than 5 percent of income to charity. The two least-generous were Hartford, Conn., and Providence, R.I., which each gave less than 2 percent of income.

Rank Metro area Giving rate, 2012 Change in giving since 2006
1 Salt Lake City 5.4% +2.7%
2 Memphis 5.1% +6.7%
3 Birmingham, Ala. 4.8% +1.7%
4 Atlanta 4.0% +6.5%
5 Nashville
3.9% +4.8%
6 Jacksonville, Fla. 3.8% +8.7%
7 Oklahoma City 3.7% -1.6%
8 Dallas-Fort Worth
3.6% +4.6%
9 Charlotte, N.C. 3.4% -5.5%
10 Virginia Beach 3.3% -6.1%
11 Houston 3.2% +1.6%
12 Indianapolis 3.2% +5.2%
13 Louisville, Ky. 3.2% -3.3%
14 San Antonio 3.1% -2.8%
15 Orlando, Fla. 3.1% +4.0%
16 Kansas City, Mo.-Ks. 3.1% -1.6%
17 Richmond, Va. 3.0% -6.7%
18 Raleigh-Cary, NC 3.0% -7.4%
19 Miami-Fort Lauderdale, Fla. 3.0% +3.1%
20 Riverside, Calif. 3.0% -0.7%
21 Phoenix 2.9% +0.3%
22 Baltimore 2.9% -8.8%
23 St. Louis 2.9% -4.0%
24 Tampa-St. Petersburg, Fla. 2.9% 0.0%
25 New Orleans 2.8% -3.1%
26 Las Vegas 2.8% +14.9%
27 Washington 2.8% -9.5%
28 Los Angeles 2.8% -9.5%
29 Detroit 2.7% -4.9%
30 Cleveland 2.7% -3.6%
31 Milwaukee 2.7% -0.7%
32 Cincinnati 2.7% -6.4%
33 Portland, Ore. 2.6% -6.7%
34 Chicago 2.6% -5.1%
35 Denver 2.6% -0.8%
36 Austin, Tex. 2.6% -3.3%
37 Minneapolis-St. Paul 2.6% -9.4%
38 New York 2.6% -8.8%
39 Columbus, Ohio 2.6% -6.5%
40 Seattle 2.5% -6.7%
41 Philadelphia 2.5% -10.3%
42 San Diego 2.4% -8.0%
43 Sacramento 2.4% -4.4%
44 Pittsburgh 2.4% -5.9%
45 San Francisco 2.4% -5.2%
46 Buffalo-Niagara Falls, N.Y. 2.3% -10.6%
47 Boston 2.3% -3.8%
48 San Jose, Calif. 2.2% -7.8%
49 Providence, R.I. 1.9% -8.3%
50 Hartford, Conn. 1.9% -8.9%

Source: Chronicle analysis of Internal Revenue Service data

 

Editor’s Note: In this and other stories on How America Gives, we used ZIP-code data from the IRS to make comparisons between 2006 and 2012, the only years for which income and charitable donation data were available broken out by income and geography. However, to protect privacy, the IRS suppresses some ZIP-code data when there are fewer than 20 filers in a given income group. As a result, some figures are lower than what they’d otherwise be.

Since our original report, we’ve updated our interactive with county-level data for 2012, which do not have any data suppressed. Unfortunately, such data are not available for 2006.

Many of the figures used in this and other How America Gives stories are based on the original 2006 and 2012 ZIP-code data to make those year-over-year comparisons.

For the latest and most accurate 2012 data, see our interactive.