According to the Chronicle of Philanthropy's report on "How America Gives," Hillsborough falls below the national average when it comes to donating to charity.
Based on data from 2008, the most recent available, in states like Utah and Mississippi the typical household gives 7 percent or more of its income to charity after taxes, housing, food, and other living expenses, while the average resident in Massachusetts and three other New England states gives less than 3 percent, on average, the report says.
Hillsborough fell below Somerset County and New Jersey in median contributions and percent of income given. However, Hillsborough's median discretionary income averaged more than the county and state. The United States averaged 4.7 percent of its income given per household, while Hillsborough was at 2.8 percent. Somerset County averaged 4 percent and New Jersey 3.7 percent.
In Hillsborough, the breakdown is as follows:
Philanthropy in HillsboroughHillsborough Somerset County New Jersey Total Contributions $22.6 million $266.8 million $4.5 billion Median Contribution $2,012 $2,366 $2,181 Median Discretionary Income $72,821 $59,578 $59,113 Percent of Income Given 2.8 percent 4.0 percent 3.7 percent
Giving by Income Level
$50,000-$99,999 $100,000-$199,999 $200,000 and up Percent of Income Given 4.6 percent 2.6 percent 2.1 percent Average Contribution $1,356 $2,189 $4,624 Average Discretionary Income $29,460 $83,723 $217,684 Total Returns 3,394 4,408 1,799
The study provides detail down to the ZIP-code level about the relative generosity of states, cities, and towns based on the share of discretionary income they give after.
Many cities and states in the Northeast, the least-religious region of the country, make up the bottom of 3 percent or less of their discretionary income to charity, according to the report. New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Maine, Vermont, New Jersey, and Rhode Island are the least-generous states, the report says.
But according to the chart released with the report, when religion is factored out of the giving picture the northeast rises to the top of the philanthropic chain.