Kent, Ottawa, Allegan counties rank among the state’s most philanthropic

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Three West Michigan counties are among the top 10 most generous places in Michigan, according to a new study.

SmartAsset recently published findings on the Most Generous Counties in the U.S. for 2020, broken down by state. Ottawa County ranked fourth in Michigan, Kent County ranked fifth and Allegan County ranked ninth.


To find the most generous places, SmartAsset looked at two factors in each county: how much money people donate as a percentage of their net income, and the proportion of people who made charitable donations.

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

Next, researchers measured the total number of individual tax returns that show charitable contributions and divided that by the total number of individual tax returns in each county. This revealed the proportion of people in each county who make charitable donations.

SmartAsset then indexed and equally weighted the two factors to yield the Most Generous Places Index.

Top 10 in Michigan

  1. Oakland County
  2. Leelanau County
  3. Washtenaw County
  4. Ottawa County
  5. Kent County
  6. Livingston County
  7. Grand Traverse County
  8. Emmet County
  9. Allegan County
  10. Wayne County

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