empty tomb, inc.

Contents
Age Bracket
U.S. Region
Income Bracket
Contributions Category
Full Report
(printer friendly PDF)

Income Bracket Highlights

Table 32: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Consumer Expenditure Survey,
2005 Cash Contributions for Charitable Giving by Income Level

Table 33 U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Consumer Expenditure Survey,
2005 Cash Contributions for Charitable Giving by Higher Income Level

Did people in different income brackets focus on different contribution categories?
In every income bracket, cash contributions to “church, religious organizations” were highest, whether measured in dollars or as a portion of after-tax income.

Can the Consumer Expenditure Survey data be compared across income brackets?
One analysis that may be of interest is a comparison of cash contribution among different income brackets.

However, it should be noted that CE Survey lower income brackets, which for purposes of this analysis would range from $5,000 through $29,999, report higher expenses than income. The CE survey observes:

Data users may notice that average annual expenditures presented in the income tables sometimes exceed income before taxes for the lower income groups. The primary reason for that is believed to be the underreporting of income by respondents, a problem common to most household surveys…

There are other reasons why expenditures exceed income for the lower income groups. Consumer units whose members experience a spell of unemployment may draw on their savings to maintain their expenditures. Self-employed consumers may experience business losses that result in low or even negative incomes, but are able to maintain their expenditures by borrowing or relying on savings. Students may get by on loans while they are in school, and retirees may rely on savings and investments. 1

To the extent that income is proportionately underreported across all income levels, but is more evident in lower income brackets, then comparisons across income brackets may be informative on an exploratory basis.

In light of this caveat, it may be noted that the people in the five income brackets from $5,000 to $39,999 posted a higher portion of income directed to charitable giving than did any other bracket.

Although the people in the $150,000 and more income bracket gave the largest number of dollars to “church, religious organizations,” and to “educational institutions,” those dollars represented a smaller portion of income for that bracket that those in the lowest five brackets.

Those in the $5,000 to $9,999 bracket reported the highest portion of income donated to both “charities and other organizations” and “church, religious organizations.”

Table 32: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Consumer Expenditure Survey,
2005 Cash Contributions for Charitable Giving by Income Level

Item All
consumer
units
$5,000
to
$9,999
$10,000
to
$14,999
$15,000
to
$19,999
$20,000
to
$29,999
$30,000
to
$39,999
$40,000
to
$49,999
$50,000
to
$69,999
Number of consumer units
(in thousands)
117,356 6,421 8,473 7,514 14,712 13,925 11,451 16,956
Consumer unit characteristics:
Income after taxes $56,304 $7,898 $12,591 $17,301 $24,609 $33,980 $43,518 $57,027
Average Annual Expenditures
Cash Contributions for Charitable Giving
Cash contributions to:
   charities and other organizations $200.26 $40.72 $44.01 $66.34 $81.15 $125.33 $114.03 $164.84
   church, religious organizations 706.81 161.70 255.45 327.35 427.24 503.93 581.58 686.50
   educational institutions 37.46 0.70 8.30 2.60 37.79 9.64 9.76 35.23
Gifts to non-CU members of stocks, bonds, and mutual funds 34.18 0.07 2.34 4.42 1.91 4.66 34.66 18.08
Total (calculated) $978.71 $203.19 $310.10 $400.71 $548.09 $643.56 $740.03 $904.65
Calculated:
% of Income after Taxes

Cash contributions to:
   charities and other organizations 0.36% 0.52% 0.35% 0.38% 0.33% 0.37% 0.26% 0.29%
   church, religious organizations 1.26% 2.05% 2.03% 1.89% 1.74% 1.48% 1.34% 1.20%
   educational institutions 0.07% 0.01% 0.07% 0.02% 0.15% 0.03% 0.02% 0.06%
Gifts to non-CU members of stocks, bonds, and mutual funds 0.06% 0.00% 0.02% 0.03% 0.01% 0.01% 0.08% 0.03%
Total 1.7% 2.6% 2.5% 2.3% 2.2% 1.9% 1.7% 1.6%

Details in the above table may not compute to the numbers shown due to rounding.
Source: empty tomb, inc. 2007 analysis of U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Consumer Expenditure Survey, 2005

Table 33: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Consumer Expenditure Survey,
2005 Cash Contributions for Charitable Giving by Higher Income Level

Item All
consumer
units
$70,000
to
$79,999
$80,000
to
$99,999
$100,000
to
$119,999
$120,000
to
$149,999
$150,000
and
more
Number of consumer units
(in thousands)
117,356 6,725 9,448 6,065 4,719 6,464
Consumer unit characteristics:
Income after taxes $56,304 $71,923 $85,251 $104,124 $125,329 $232,706
Average Annual Expenditures
Cash Contributions for Charitable Giving
Cash contributions to:
   charities and other organizations $200.26 $202.66 $251.40 $265.65 $423.07 $1,154.96
   church, religious organizations 706.81 825.34 990.80 1,213.20 1,563.45 2,349.24
   educational institutions 37.46 12.20 37.93 79.94 66.46 255.95
Gifts to non-CU members of stocks, bonds, and mutual funds 34.18 9.10 2.72 2.08 88.90 408.66
Total (calculated) $978.71 $1,049.30 $1,282.85 $1,560.87 $2,141.88 $4,168.81
Calculated:
% of Income after Taxes

Cash contributions to:
   charities and other organizations 0.36% 0.28% 0.29% 0.26% 0.34% 0.50%
   church, religious organizations 1.26% 1.15% 1.16% 1.17% 1.25% 1.01%
   educational institutions 0.07% 0.02% 0.04% 0.08% 0.05% 0.11%
Gifts to non-CU members of stocks, bonds, and mutual funds 0.06% 0.01% 0.00% 0.00% 0.07% 0.18%
Total 1.7% 1.5% 1.5% 1.5% 1.7% 1.8%

Details in the above table may not compute to the numbers shown due to rounding.
Source: empty tomb, inc. 2007 analysis of U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Consumer Expenditure Survey, 2005


1  Consumer Expenditure Survey "Frequently Asked Questions"; U.S. Department of Labor, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Consumer Expenditure Surveys, Branch of Information and Analysis; Last Modified Date: March 17, 2005; <http://www.bls.gov/cex/csxfaqs.htm>; p. 7 of 5/28/05 10:32 AM printout.


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