What does this measure?
Contributions to charitable organizations, measured as a percentage of income.
Why is this important?
Charitable giving supports a wide variety of organizations, including those that provide essential services to the community and people in need. The level of giving shows residents' willingness to invest in programs and organizations serving the community.
How is our county doing?
In 2020, Essex County residents contributed just under $391 million - or 0.9%, of their income - to charitable organizations. This is less than the state and national charitable donation rate of 1.5%.
Due to the change in tax laws, standard deductions nearly doubled for all filers for 2018 and therefore comparisons to prior years are not comparable.
How do we compare to similar counties?
Essex County had the lowest contribution rate among comparison counties in 2020, as Westchester, NY, Lake County, IL and Middlesex, MA all had rates between 1.5% and 2.1%.
Notes about the data
Figures are in constant 2021 dollars. Comparable data for some years was not available. These figures reflect contributions listed on tax returns with itemized deductions, which researchers estimate cover about 80% of all charitable giving nationally. Due to the change in tax laws, standard deductions nearly doubled for all filers for 2018 and therefore comparisons to prior years are not comparable. No county or state data are available on charitable contributions by taxpayers who take the standard deduction.