Middle class Americans are two to six times more generous in the share of their investments that they give to charity than Americans who make more than $10 million., a pioneering study of federal tax data shows.
The least generous of all working-age Americans were among the young and prosperous - those 285 taxpayers age 35 and under who made more than $10 million - and the 18,600 taxpayers making $500,000 to $1 million.
On average these two groups made charitable gifts equal to 0.4 percent of their assets, while people the same age who made $50,000 to $100,000 gave gifts equal to more than 2.5 percent of their investment assets, six times that of their far wealthier peers.
[Above figures based on 2003, the latest year for which Internal Revenue Service data is available]
[Excerpted from an article by David Cay Johnston, The New York Times]