A fascinating new look at giving has been released by the Chronicle of Philanthropy, called How America Gives. It looks at “exact dollar amounts released by the Internal Revenue Service showing the value of charitable deductions claimed by American taxpayers.” Data comes from 2008 IRS tax information. Here is a look at Washington, and Walla Walla County in particular.
How does Walla Wallla stack up compared to the the state and nation? Amazingly and generously well! The following table compares Walla Walla County to the state and Country:
||Walla Walla County
|Median Discretionary Income
|Percent of Income Given
Walla Walla gives at rates nearly double the state average. Its median contribution exceeds the national median by 40% at the same time discretionary income is 17% less than the national median.
It has been a feeling that the Blue Mountain area is a generous place. Here is the data to back it up.
The map in blue shows total giving by county with the balloon detailing Walla Walla County. The darker the color, the more giving.
Median Discretionary Income
The orange map depicts median discretionary income in Washington. Again, the darker the image, the higher the median income. Walla Walla County detail is shown in the balloon. Discretionary income is a bit complicated.
For this study, The Chronicle started with adjusted gross income and subtracted federal income tax (less tax credits), Social Security and Medicare taxes, and state and local taxes. Also removed were median housing costs for homeowners and renters in each ZIP code as well as average living expenses from information collected by the Bureau of Labor Statistics and available by metropolitan area and region. The Chronicle applied those figures to ZIP codes that fall in the areas designated by the bureau.
The green map shows the median contribution in Washington. Put differently, it shows how much the middle person from the group of tax returns actually gave to charity. The darker the image, the higher the contribution level. Walla Walla County detailed is shown in the balloon.
Percent of Income Given
The final map shows the percentage of income given by households, by county.
All data and maps courtesy of How America Gives from The Chronicle of Philanthropy.