Salt Lake City, Utah, the base of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, is the most charitable city in the country, according to new research, and it is followed by Memphis, Tenn., where the king of rock and roll, Elvis Presley, lived and died.
Utah also ranks as the most generous state in a new analysis of Internal Revenue Service tax returns by researchers at the Chronicle of Philanthropy, a Washington, D.C. periodical. For every $1,000 Utah residents earned, they donated $65.60 to charity. (New Hampshire residents were the least generous, giving away $17.40 for every $1,000.)
The top 10 cities on the list were in the Bible Belt. Teachings call for Mormons to give at least 10% of their income to charity; the Chronicle survey didn’t address the religious affiliations of donors. Leaders of nonprofit organizations in Atlanta and Memphis told the report authors that campaigns for education and other secular causes are helping to collect donations in those cities.
Only residents of Salt Lake City and Memphis gave more than 5% of their income to charity, the Chronicle of Philanthropy report concluded. The other most generous cities were Birmingham, Ala. (where residents donated 4.8% of their income), Atlanta (4%), Nashville (3.9%), Jacksonville, Fla. (3.8%), and Oklahoma City (3.7%).