CLARKSBURG, W.Va. – A recent WalletHub study has declared that West Virginia is the 44 most charitable state in the nation.

In 2020, the U.S. gave nearly $485 billion to charity and nearly 78 million people volunteered. But, who contributed the most to these numbers?

WalletHub determined the most charitable of the 50 states by comparing them across 19 metrics of charitable behavior. Their study placed Utah at the top while Arizona fell to the bottom, with West Virginia not too far behind at just 44 on the list.

According to WalletHub, West Virginia was also the worst state in terms of percentage of donated income and percentage of population who donate money.

Source: WalletHub
Overall Rank* StateTotal Score Volunteering & Service Charitable Giving 
1Utah70.9924
2Maryland67.9453
3Minnesota66.4137
4North Dakota65.00413
5Oregon63.23140
44West Virginia50.282748
50Arizona42.774350
*No. 1 = Most Charitable
With the exception of “Total Score,” all of the columns in the table above depict the relative rank of that state, where a rank of 1 represents the best conditions for that metric category.

To get their rankings, WalletHub compared the 50 states across two key dimensions, “Volunteering & Service” and “Charitable Giving,” that were then divided into 19 weighted metrics

Each state’s weighted average was then taken across all metrics to find its overall score and ranking.

Each metric was graded on a 100-point scale, with a score of 100 representing the “most charitable.”

Volunteering & Service – Total Points: 50

  • Volunteer Rate: Full Weight (~4.17 Points)
  • Volunteer Retention Rate: Full Weight (~4.17 Points)
  • Volunteer Hours per Capita: Triple Weight (~12.50 Points)
  • Community-Service Requirement for High School Graduation: Full Weight (~4.17 Points)
  • Share of Population Who Do Favors for Their Neighbors: Full Weight (~4.17 Points)
  • Amount of Money that People Would Lend Their Neighbors in Need: Full Weight (~4.17 Points)
  • Share of Population Collecting/Distributing Food: Full Weight (~4.17 Points)
  • Share of Population Collecting/Distributing Clothes: Full Weight (~4.17 Points)
  • Share of Population Fundraising or Selling Items to Raise Money: Full Weight (~4.17 Points)
  • Share of Residents Who Engage in General Labor (Supply Transportation for People): Full Weight (~4.17 Points)

Charitable Giving – Total Points: 50

  • Share of Income Donated: Double Weight (~11.11 Points)
    • Note: “Income” refers to aggregate gross income.
  • Share of Population Donating Time: Full Weight (~5.56 Points)
    • Note: “Donors” refers to the share of the population who claim to have donated time.
  • Share of Population Donating Money: Full Weight (~5.56 Points)
    • Note: “Donors” refers to the share of taxpayers who donated money to charity and the percentage of the population who claim to have donated money.
  • Public Charities per Capita: Half Weight (~2.78 Points)
    • Note: “Public Charities” is based on the Internal Revenue Service’s definition of the term. Among others, these charities include “churches, hospitals, qualified medical research organizations affiliated with hospitals, schools, colleges and universities.” They do not include private foundations, most of which do not engage in “the direct operation of charitable programs.” However, religious organizations were included in the data for the following reasons: 1) the available data does not differentiate between secular charities and religious organizations, and 2) many donors and volunteers consider their contributions to such entities as “charitable giving.”
  • 4-Star Charities per Capita: Half Weight (~2.78 Points)
  • Charity Regulations: Full Weight (~5.56 Points)
  • Google Search Interest for “Charitable Donations”: Full Weight (~5.56 Points)
    • Note: This metric measures the real intent of the population to find information using the following search terms: “volunteer”, “non profit organizations”, “charity”, “charitable donations” and “charitable organizations”. “Real intent” is measured using the average monthly search volumes for those specific terms.
  • ‘Feeding America’ Food Banks per Capita: Full Weight (~5.56 Points)
  • Share of Sheltered Homeless: Full Weight (~5.56 Points)