Fanwood residents donate 3.1 percent of their annual income to charity and Scotch Plains residents donate 3.4 percent.
That's just below the New Jersey average of 3.7 percent, according to How America Gives, a new study from The Chronicle of Philanthropy that rates each of the 28,725 zip codes in the U.S. by measuring income levels and charitable donations made by taxpayers. (The report used IRS tax record for 2008, the most recent year data was available.)
Fanwood ranked 3,293 for contributions, donating $5.4 million with a median contribution of $2,263. Scotch Plains residents ranked 1,479, donating $20.8 million with a median contribution of $2,579.
The median income was $74,051 for Fanwood and $75,070 for Scotch Plains.
Overall, charitable donations by New Jersey residents ranked eighth in the nation in 2008 with $4.5 billion. California finished in first place and New York in second.
Union County ranked 100 out of 3,115 counties surveyed in the country with a median contribution of $2,431 per household and had total contributions for that year of $291.9 million, or 4.2 percent of resident’s total income, according to the report.
Among the study's other findings:
- Utah is the most generous state, donating 10.6 percent of discretionary income.
- New Hampshire is the stingiest, donating 2.5 percent of income.
- People who live in politically conservative, "red states" are more generous than those in liberal or "blue states."