The state of Utah shows how important religion is to giving, said Peter Panepento, the Chronicle of Philanthropy's assistant managing editor. In Utah, the estimated median contribution was $5,255, as reported to the IRS on itemized tax returns.
The states and communities that tended to give the highest percentage of income to charity were those with high rates of religious participation.
"Utah, far and away, has given the most to charity, with its strong tie to the Mormon religion," he said.
Many religions, including the Mormon faith, encourage or direct believers to give 10 percent, or tithe, from their income to the church.