Northwest Iowa Counties Among Most Generous

Date posted - May 10, 2016

Statewide Iowa — As the old Meridith Wilson song goes, Iowans will “give you our shirt and a back to go with it.” Apparently it’s true. According to the web site, not only do Iowans give more money to charity than people in Illinois, Wisconsin, or Minnesota on average, people in northwest Iowa are among the most philanthropic.

merry money 2According to data compiled by, residents of Sioux, O’Brien and Lyon counties are among the 10 counties in Iowa giving the highest percentage of their income to charity. They define “giving ratio” as the percentage of adjusted gross income that residents give to charity according to charitable contributions listed on income tax forms. These numbers are based on data from 2012, the most recent year for which information is available.

Topping the list is Sioux County, where they say people give, on average — 6.54% of their income to charity. The median annual contribution is $6,007.

Residents of O’Brien County made a median contribution of $4,720 per household in 2012, which was good for sixth place. The giving ratio was 4.62%

Coming in at number ten was Lyon County, where the data reports a giving ratio of 4.09%.

Osceola County was a little further down the list with a giving ratio of 3.5%.

While Iowa does beat some of its surrounding states, residents of South Dakota, Nebraska, and Missouri give more on average. As a whole, South Dakotans give 3.45% of their income. Nebraskans give 3.67%, and Missourians give 3.38%. Iowans on average give 3.03% of their income to charity.

For more information including a clickable map of the data, click here.

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