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December 2, 2014

New Jerseyans may need to take note that today is Giving Tuesday, a new international day of giving designed to kick off charitable giving during the holidays. That’s because the state ranked 48th among U.S. states and the District of Columbia in terms of charitable giving as a percentage of income. New Jerseyans gave an average of 2.01 percent, just slightly more than Vermont (2 percent), Maine (1.95 percent), and New Hampshire (1.74 percent)

Mercer County is the most generous in the state. That ranking was based on Internal Revenue data from 2012, which also showed New Jerseyans gave 13 percent less in 2012 than in 2006 -- for whatever reason. It's interesting to note that 2012 was the year Sandy hit.

Religious organizations are the beneficiaries of much of the country’s charitable giving, which can partially explain why Utah, with a rate of 6.54 percent, and the Bible belt southern states of Mississippi, Alabama, Tennessee, Georgia, and South Carolina -- all of which gave more than 4 percent of income to charity -- top the list of most-generous states.

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