Take That, Chicago: St. Louis Is "More Charitable"

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We had vowed never to ever pay attention to those silly lists at the Daily Beast again -- but then we saw one that actually made us kinda happy about ourselves. Never mind that whole Most Dangerous City designation; it turns out we're actually the Fifteenth Most Charitable City in the country!

click to enlarge If we were any more damn charitable, we'd be ... Seattle.
If we were any more damn charitable, we'd be ... Seattle.
You might wonder why we're celebrating a 15th-place finish. Doesn't St. Louis want to be first? But what's more important in this case isn't who we've been beaten by: It's who we've beaten. Namely, Chicago.

It turns out that despite having a significantly higher average household income than St. Louis -- $103,736 to our $88,212 -- Chicagoans are stingy bastards. They give away just 2.9 percent of their income to charity. And only 17.7 percent of them volunteer their time for anything!

Now, it's not like we're killing it here, St. Louis. We donated 3.3 percent of our income to charity, and only 24.5 of us bothered to volunteer. That's not Chicago bad -- but that's not exactly something to write home about.

Per the Daily Beast's ratings, Seattle was the most charitable city in the country, but that's based on some cockeyed formula where foundation giving outranks stuff like individual efforts. (Whaddaya want to bet, Bill Gates single-handedly is making that city look better than it is?) We're really more interested in the details, which show us that Miami had the lowest percentage of volunteers in all the cities surveyed -- just 12.1 percent.

As for the highest percentage of volunteers, that's Portland, Oregon, with 28 percent. Something for us to aspire to for next year's list!

As for Chicago, well, they can just aspire to be more like us.

About The Author

Sarah Fenske

Sarah Fenske is the executive editor of Euclid Media Group, overseeing publications in eight cities. She is the former host of St. Louis on the Air and was previously editor-in-chief of the RFT and the LA Weekly. She lives in St. Louis.
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