In the Westwood area (90024), people gave a median contribution of $7,262 to charity in 2008, according to a study released this month by The Chronicle of Philanthropy. In the Century City area (90067), the median contribution was $37,481.
Compared to the average Los Angeles citizen, who donated 5.3 percent of their total income to charity, Westwood area residents contributed slightly more at 7.9 percent of total income, and more than the average Californian, who donated 4.4 percent. Century City area residents contributed 7.3 percent of total income, according to the study.
The study was based on Internal Revenue Service records from 2008 of Americans who itemized deductions. It gives ZIP code-level detail about the percentage of discretionary income that people gave to charity.
The IRS releases total amounts donated, but to protect privacy, the agency does not provide data about the specific charities people supported. Because of discrepancies in the data for people with income below $50,000, The Chronicle’s study includes only taxpayers who reported incomes of $50,000 or more.
Readers can use the online edition of this report to find detailed breakdowns, by income level, showing the percentage of income donated by people in various income brackets for each ZIP code.
The study found:
- States that voted Republican in the last presidential election are far more likely to be generous to charities than those that voted Democratic. The top eight states in giving preferred John McCain over Barack Obama.
- Utah was the No. 1 state in giving at 10.6 percent, with Salt Lake City as the most giving city. By contrast, residents in Massachusetts and three other New England states give less than 3 percent. New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Vermont, New Jersey and Rhode Island are the least-generous states.
- California ranked No. 25 out of the 50 entries with $17.2 billion total contributions and a median contribution of $2,396.
- Lower-income people give a far bigger share of their income to charities than the wealthy.
- Rich people who live in areas with mostly wealthy people give a smaller share of their incomes to charity than rich people in economically diverse areas.
- Regions that are deeply religious give more than those that are not. Two of the top 10 states—Utah and Idaho—have high numbers of Mormons, who tithe more consistently than other churches. The other states in the top 10 are all in the so-called Bible Belt.
The Chronicle website also features an interactive map of how America gives.
—Patch Editor Christa Bigue contributed to this report.
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