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Utah Ranked The Most Giving State In 2016

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Americans are among the most generous people in the world, according to a recent international study. The United States ranked second out of 140 countries surveyed annually by the Charities Aid Foundation 2016 World Giving Index.

Between 2014 and 2015, almost 63 million Americans volunteered with an organization at least once, serving a median of 52 hours per year, according to Bureau of Labor statistics.

And within the United States, a WalletHub study ranked Utah as the most charitable state in 2016.

“We’ve been doing this study for three years now. Utah has been number one each year. So we’ve come to expect Utah really bringing in that number one title. Now we’re more surprised by how the rest of the states follow," said Jill Gonzalez, a WalletHub analyst.

 Utah ranked number one on volunteering service and charitable giving indexes. Minnesota followed in second place and North Dakota as third.

“I think that especially around this time of year people really need a reason to remember what the holiday season is  about," Gonzalez said. "Especially now that we have Black Friday that’s turned into Black Friday eve, which used to just be referred to as Thanksgiving, and how really a Black November moving into December. It’s become so much about shopping and more superficial things. So having a sense of Giving Tuesday and a time to really devote to giving back to the community is really important to people now.”

A third of all annual giving takes place in December, from collecting and distributing food to donating a percentage of income. Utah ranked first place for volunteer rate, percentage of donated income and number of volunteer hours per capita.

“Typically a state either really excelled in giving time or really excelled in giving money to charity. Utah though was really neck and neck here," added Gonzalez. "For the percentage of the population who have donated time, it was number one with just under 60 percent. Donating money was actually even more at around 70 percent. So we saw in Utah number one for both of those metrics.”

Because 2016 was such a political year, the study also examined how political ties influenced giving percentages.

We saw that red states narrowly beat out blue states when it came to charity. Their average rank was 24th, blue states more like 27th," she said.