Contributions to charitable organizations, measured as a percentage of income.
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.
In 2016, Essex County residents contributed just under $480 million - or 1.4%, of their income - to charitable organizations, an overall decline since 2014 when contributions were $514 million. This is also less than state and national charitable donation rates of 2.0% and 2.3%, respectively.
Essex County had the lowest contribution rate among comparison counties in 2016, as Westchester, NY, Lake County, IL and Middlesex, MA all had rates around 2.4%. Each comparison county increased since 2011 in the percentage of income that was donated to charity, but Middlesex has increased the total dollar amount contributed by 21% since 2011.
Figures are in constant 2016 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. No county or state data are available on charitable contributions by taxpayers who take the standard deduction.