A new study by the Chronicle of Philanthropy found that residents in states where religious participation is higher than the rest of the nation gave the greatest percentage of their discretionary income to charity.
The Northeast, with lower religious participation, was the least generous to charities, with the six New England states filling the last six slots among the 50 states. The highest participation was in the South.
The study also could be aligned around politics. Of the 10 least generous states, nine voted for Democrat Barack Obama for president in the last election. By contrast, of the 10 most generous states, eight voted for Republican John McCain.
The study was based on IRS records of people who itemized deductions in 2008, the most recent year statistics were available.