This isn't necessarily surprising!
According to a new study, the more religious a state is, the more it gives to charity (tithes, anyone??)!
Though, we're pretty sure the charities are going to be more geared towards religious beliefs.
The Chronicle of Philanthropy found that residents in states where religious participation is higher than the rest of the nation, particularly in the South, gave the greatest percentage of their discretionary income to charity — they then found that the northeast of the nation gave the least.
They happen to be the least religious too!
This happens to correspond with political affiliation, too (no surprise there, right-wingers are considered my more religious).
The most generous state was Utah, where residents gave 10.6 percent of their discretionary income to charity — income after necessities. Then came Mississippi, Alabama, Tennessee and South Carolina.
The least generous was New Hampshire, at 2.5 percent, followed by Maine, Vermont, Massachusetts and Rhode Island.
But, like we said — it's religious charities and tithes taking all the money:
'The Bible mandates a 10 percent annual donation, or tithe, to the church, and the donation is commonly preached as a way to thank God, care for others and show faith in God's provision. But it has a greater emphasis in some faiths. In Mormon teachings, for instance, Latter Day Saints are required to pay a 10 percent tithe to remain church members in good standing, which helps explain the high giving rate in heavily-Mormon Utah.'
Here are some other findings:
— People who earn $200,000 per year give a greater percentage to charity when they live in ZIP codes with fewer people who are as wealthy as they are.
— People who earn between $50,000 and $75,000 annually give a higher percentage of their income to charity (7.6 percent) than those who make $100,000 or more (4.2 percent).
This should be taken with a grain of salt, though, because like a lot of studies, not a lot of other factors were observed.
Regardless, we're glad people are helping out at all!
[Image via AP Images.]