"Research consistently shows that factors like an individual's age, income and level of education strongly predict giving," said Dr. Patrick M. Rooney, director of research at the Center on Philanthropy at Indiana University.
Recent data from the Center on Philanthropy Panel Study, which now follows 7,500 American households, reveal that both the likelihood of giving and generosity increase with age.
Individuals ages 21 to 40 earning $50,000 to $100,000, for example, gave 1.9 percent of their annual income to charity, while people 65 and older in the same income bracket gave away 4.2 percent of their income.
And 92 percent of those 65 years and older made at least some donation, compared with 73 percent of people ages 21 to 40 in this income range.
[From an article by Richard A. Friedman, M.D., The New York Times]