Lower-Income Americans Are Comparatively Most-Generous Givers

America’s poor and lower-income earners donate more in percentage terms than those in higher-income groups, and their giving slackens less in tough economic times, according to McClatchy Newspapers.

The latest survey of consumer expenditure by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics found that the poorest fifth of U.S. households gave an average of 4.3 percent of their incomes to charities in 2007. The figure for the wealthiest fifth was 2.1 percent, and no other quintile gave more than 3 percent.

Among the reasons cited for the disparity are that poorer Americans tend to know more people in need, and that people with less money include disproportionate numbers of women and the elderly, groups studies have shown to be more generous givers.

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