Community Life
Average Charitable Contribution


Charitable Contributions as a Percent of Income

What does this measure?

Contributions to charitable organizations, measured as a percentage of income.

Why is this important?

Charitable giving supports a wide variety of organizations, including those that provide essential services to the community and people in need. The level of giving shows residents' willingness to invest in programs and organizations serving the community, and their trust in those organizations to address causes important to them.

How is our region doing?

In 2017, MetroWest residents contributed just under $4 billion - or 2.2% of their income - to charitable organizations. This was up from 1.8% in 2011, when giving totaled $2.7 billion (in inflation-adjusted 2018 dollars). The region's rate in 2017 was similar to the state and slightly less than the national rate (2.3%). Among local counties, giving was highest in 2017 in Norfolk, at 2.5% and lowest in Worcester, at 1.3%.

Notes about the data

Figures are in constant 2018 dollars. Comparable data for some years was not available. These figures reflect contributions listed on tax returns with itemized deductions, which researchers estimate cover about 80% of all charitable giving nationally. No county or state data are available on charitable contributions by taxpayers who take the standard deduction.

Charitable Contributions as a Percent of Income
United States2.1%2.1%2.1%2.1%2.2%2.3%2.3%

Source: Internal Revenue Service
Notes: Figures are in constant 2017 dollars.

Total Charitable Giving
United States$193,744,533,491$210,345,910,818$208,096,214,840$218,953,997,948$230,147,066,916$241,153,392,093$256,609,761,175

Source: Internal Revenue Service
Notes: Figures are in constant 2017 dollars.

Early Prenatal Care by Mother's Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Children Living in Poverty Increasing
Children Living in Poverty, by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Single-Parent Families Increasing
Single-Parent Families by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Disengaged Youth Decreasing
Reports of Domestic Violence Maintaining
Arts, Entertainment and Recreation Establishments Increasing
Households Without Vehicles Maintaining
Means of Transportation to Work Not Applicable
Average Travel Time to Work Increasing
Households With Internet Access Not Applicable
Voter Participation Rate Decreasing
Average Charitable Contribution Maintaining
Protected Land Not Applicable
Drug Poisoning Mortality Rate Increasing
Crimes Against People Decreasing
Incarceration Rates, by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Change in Total Population Increasing
Change in Population by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Foreign-Born Population Increasing
Language Diversity Increasing
Population by Age Not Applicable
Change in Population by Age/Gender Not Applicable
Seniors Living Alone Decreasing
People with Disabilities Maintaining
Change in Total Jobs by Sector Not Applicable
Unemployment Rate Maintaining
Average Salary by Sector Not Applicable
High-Tech Jobs Decreasing
Female to Male Earnings Ratio Maintaining
Prekindergarten Participation Increasing
Student Performance on Grade 3 English, by Student Subgroup Not Applicable
Chronically Absent Students Decreasing
High School Cohort Graduation Rate by Student Group Increasing
Education Levels of Adults Not Applicable
Education Levels of Adults, by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
People Living in Poverty Increasing
People Living in Poverty, by Education Level Not Applicable
People Living in Poverty, by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Household Receiving Temporary Assistance Maintaining
Participation in Food Assistance by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Median Household Income Maintaining
Median Household Income, by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Living Wage Not Applicable
80/20 Income Ratio Maintaining
Access to Financial Services, by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Homeownership Rates Increasing
Homeownership Rates, by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Cost of Homeownership Increasing
Cost of Rent Not Applicable
Homelessness Increasing