Analysis reveals Georgia’s most generous counties as holidays ramp-up

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The holidays are not only a time for receiving gifts, but giving them as well. It’s also during this time of year that people look to give back to their communities.

In 2020, the need to give back is perhaps greater than ever.

Personal finance technology company SmartAsset has compiled a list of the most generous counties in the United States.

SmartAsset explained in its methodology that it reviewed two factors in each county: the sum of money people donate as a percentage of their take-home pay, and the proportion of people who made philanthropic donations.

“To determine the amount of money that people donate as a percentage of their income, we first calculated the net income of all people in each county,” the website noted. “To do this, we looked at tax return data and accounted for federal, state and local taxes paid. We also accounted for deductible entries, including mortgage interest, mortgage points and mortgage insurance payments. We then divided each county’s total charitable donations by its total net income to see how much money county residents are donating relative to their income.”

Then, the website measured the cumulative individual tax returns that recorded charitable contributions before dividing it by the total number of individual tax returns in each county. That resulted in the proportion of people in each county who donate to charity. After indexing and weighing the two factors, the results were the Most Generous Places Index.

Nationally, two Georgia counties made the list.

Oconee County and Fayette County came in at Nos. 5 and 7 respectively. Oconee had 87.60 on the Most Generous Places Index while Fayette scored 86.78.

Both counties were Nos. 1 and 2 among Georgia’s most charitable counties and Oconee, which landed on top, had 19.94% of tax returns itemizing charitable contributions.

See the state’s 10 most generous counties and their index scores below.

Most Generous Counties in Georgia

  1. Oconee County - 87.60
  2. Fayette County - 86.78
  3. Fulton County - 82.16
  4. Greene County - 77.11
  5. Pulaski County - 71.17
  6. Forsyth County - 70.36
  7. Cobb County - 63.45
  8. Morgan County - 62.84
  9. DeKalb County - 60.62
  10. Harris County - 59.65