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Somerville Lags Somewhat in Charitable Giving

Somervillians gave about 2.9 percent of their discretionary income to charity, according to a study. In Cambridge that number was 4.2 percent; in Boston it was 4.3 percent.

When it comes to charitable giving, Somerville lags behind Cambridge, Boston and the United States as a whole, according to data released by The Chronicle of Philanthropy.

The data comes from 2008 tax returns, and The Chronicle of Philanthropy used the data to create a map of charitable giving across the entire country.

According to the figures, Somerville residents gave on average 2.9 percent of their discretionary income to charity. The median contribution was $1,267, with the median disposable income listed as $44,003, one of the lowest in the region.

By comparison, Cambridge residents donated about 4.2 percent of their discretionary incomes to charity. (Cambridge had a median charitable contribution of $2,463 with a median discretionary income of $58,141.)

In Boston, the median contribution was $1,915 with a discretionary income of $45,010. Bostonians donated 4.3 percent of their discretionary incomes to charity.

Across the country, Americans gave about 4.7 percent of their incomes to charity, with a median contribution of $2,564 and a median discretionary income of $54,783.

Somerville, however, was a tiny bit more charitable than the state of Massachusetts. Massachusetts residents gave about 2.8 percent of their incomes to charity.

You can see the study, which includes maps, discussions and other data, here.

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