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
United States2.1%2.1%2.1%2.1%2.2%2.3%
Berks County1.4%1.5%1.6%1.7%1.5%1.6%
Berks County Regions
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
United States$189,125,193,839$205,330,754,059$203,134,696,291$213,733,603,512$224,659,802,564$235,403,710,250
Berks County$170,132,169$178,866,475$176,669,443$204,497,564$184,211,532$188,042,409
Berks County Regions
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.

Early Prenatal Care Increasing
Early Prenatal Care by Mother's Race/Ethnicity Increasing
Children Living in Poverty Increasing
Children Living in Poverty, by Race/Ethnicity Maintaining
Single-Parent Families Increasing
Single-Parent Families by Race/Ethnicity Decreasing
Disengaged Youth Maintaining
Live Births to Teen Mothers Decreasing
Change in Population by Age and Gender Maintaining
Change in Total Population by Race/Ethnicity Increasing
Population by Age and Race/Ethnicity Decreasing
Foreign-Born Population Increasing
Language Diversity Increasing
Unemployment Rate Decreasing
Change in Labor Force Increasing
Employment to Population ratio Increasing
Change in Jobs by Sector Not Applicable
Sector Share of Total Jobs Not Applicable
Average Salary by Sector Not Applicable
Change in Average Salary by Sector Not Applicable
People Entering/Leaving County/Region for Work Increasing
Public Assistance Maintaining
Spending for Local Governments Maintaining
Spending for Counties Maintaining
Spending for School Districts Maintaining
Quality Early Childhood Centers Not Applicable
Prekindergarten Participation Increasing
Students Eligible for Free/Reduced Price Lunch Increasing
English Language Learners Increasing
Students Receiving Special Education Services Increasing
Per Student Spending Maintaining
Historically Underperforming Student Performance on Grade 3 English Decreasing
Historically Underperforming Student Performance on Grade 3 Math Increasing
Historically Underperforming Student Performance on Grade 8 English Increasing
Historically Underperforming Student Performance on Grade 8 Math Decreasing
Student Performance on High School English Decreasing
Student Performance on High School Math Increasing
High School Cohort Graduation Rate Increasing
Education Levels of Adults, by Race/Ethnicity Maintaining
Brain Drain/Gain Increasing
Plans of High School Graduates Increasing
Median Household Income Maintaining
Median Household Income by Household Type Maintaining
Living Wage Maintaining
People Living in Poverty Increasing
Working Poor Maintaining
People Receiving Federal Food Assistance Increasing
People Enrolled in Medicaid Managed Care Increasing
People Without Health Insurance Decreasing
Physically Inactive Adults Not Applicable
Adults Who are Overweight or Obese Not Applicable
Students in 7-12 Overweight or Obese Increasing
Vacant Housing Units Increasing
Homeownership Rates Decreasing
Housing Affordability for Homeowners Maintaining
Housing Affordability for Homeowners by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Housing Affordability for Renters Increasing
Housing Affordability for Renters, by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Age of Housing Stock Decreasing
Single-Family Home Sales Increasing
Median Single-Family Home Sale Price Maintaining
Tourism Spending Maintaining
Voter Registration Rate Decreasing
Voter Participation Rate Increasing
Average Charitable Giving Maintaining
Contributions as a Percentage of Income Maintaining
Households With Internet Access Increasing
Dams Not Applicable
Violent Crimes Maintaining
Property Crimes Decreasing
Incarceration Rates Maintaining
Drug Abuse Offenses Increasing
Drug Abuse Arrests Increasing
Protection from Domestic Abuse Maintaining
Means of Transportation to Work Maintaining
Average Travel Time to Work Increasing
Crashes Involving Alcohol Decreasing
Households Without Vehicles Decreasing