Charity forms a major artery of the American life, and we continue to lead the world in our generosity; the 2015 rankings of the states gives a cross-section of where our generosity lies.

"Just how altruistic are Americans? 95.4 percent of households donate to charities, each contributing an annual average of $2,974. According to the National Philanthropic Trust, in 2014 alone, Americans gave more than $338 billion, 72 percent of which came directly from individuals.

"Of course “charitable” behavior isn’t limited to donating money to the needy. Giving one’s time is a form of generosity as well — a contribution made by nearly 63 million people who volunteered with an organization at least once between September 2013 and September 2014. But whether to pitch in money, time or both — and the magnitude of its impact — largely depends on a donor’s particular circumstances, according to WalletHub’s Charity Calculator.

"In the spirit of inspiring more Americans to increase their charitable giving this holiday season, WalletHub aimed the spotlight at the most generous of the 50 states. We analyzed a total of eight key metrics, among which are volunteer rate, the percentage of the population who donated time and money, and the median contribution to charity. Our findings, as well as expert commentary and a detailed methodology, can be found below."--Richie Bernardo, Wallethub