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Charitable Contributions as a Percent of Income


Charitable Contributions as a Percent of Income

What does this measure?

Contributions to charitable organizations, measured as a percentage of income.

Why is this important?

Charitable giving supports a variety of organizations, including those that provide essential services to the community and people in need. The level of giving shows residents' willingness and capacity to invest in programs and organizations serving the community. Looking at the level of giving as a percentage of income provides insight as to residents' generosity and capacity for further giving.

How is our county performing?

In 2016, Berks County residents contributed about $188 million to charity, or 1.6% of their income. This rate was similar to Pennsylvania and slightly less than the nation, at 2.3%. Since 2011, Berks County's contributions as a percentage of income was up slightly from 1.4%, while the state and national rates were flat.

Among surrounding counties, Lehigh residents contributed a percentage of their income that was similar to Berks. Chester and Lebanon residents gave at a slightly higher rate at 2% for each, while the rates were even higher in Lancaster (2.6%) and Montgomery (2.3%). The charitable giving rate was lower in Schuylkill, at 0.8% of income.

Notes about the data

Figures are in constant 2017 dollars. These figures reflect contributions listed on tax returns with itemized deductions, which researchers estimate cover about 80% of all charitable giving nationally. High-income taxpayers are much more likely to file tax returns with itemized deductions than those with lower incomes. No county or state data are available on charitable contributions by taxpayers who take the standard deduction.

There may be additional research available on this topic. Click on Reports and Resources to learn more.

Charitable Contributions as a Percent of Income
201120122013201420152016
Pennsylvania1.7%1.7%1.7%1.7%1.7%1.8%
Berks County1.4%1.5%1.6%1.7%1.5%1.6%
Berks County Regions
Central
Northeast
South
Southeast
West
Reading city
Berks County Peers
Chester County1.9%2.0%2.0%1.9%2.0%2.0%
Lancaster County2.6%2.6%2.6%2.6%2.6%2.7%
Lebanon County1.9%1.9%1.9%1.9%2.0%1.9%
Lehigh County1.5%1.6%1.5%1.6%1.5%1.6%
Montgomery County2.4%2.5%2.4%2.5%2.3%2.7%
Schuylkill County0.9%0.9%0.8%0.8%0.8%0.8%

Source: Internal Revenue Service
Notes: Figures are in constant 2016 dollars.




Total Charitable Giving
201120122013201420152016
Pennsylvania$6,563,207,079$6,921,678,946$6,673,622,092$6,974,286,077$7,134,571,514$7,488,771,567
Berks County$170,132,169$178,866,475$176,669,443$204,497,564$184,211,532$188,042,409
Berks County Regions
Central
Northeast
South
Southeast
West
Reading city
Berks County Peers
Chester County$481,596,360$549,571,053$511,444,163$535,140,770$571,989,413$575,108,282
Lancaster County$367,225,043$391,640,679$382,922,860$406,636,453$434,509,708$442,956,710
Lebanon County$65,128,065$66,437,156$68,071,761$69,447,353$74,793,468$74,657,289
Lehigh County$160,224,456$167,044,677$162,700,285$171,065,050$166,848,559$180,710,471
Montgomery County$958,258,478$1,106,113,689$964,053,929$1,086,560,335$1,078,667,822$1,204,357,908
Schuylkill County$28,379,517$30,156,100$26,957,655$27,222,095$27,212,574$28,839,570

Source: Internal Revenue Service
Notes: Figures are in constant 2016 dollars.




INDICATORS TREND | BERKS COUNTY