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Measuring generosity and activism with political contributions

June 15, 2022

What does the data look like for political contributions when we look at each state? How does generosity appear in each state, and what does state activism look like?

Generosity and activism by the state

A few days ago, I published an article about analyzing financial contributions to political campaigns.

When we look at the total individual contributions to political committees by state, it is apparent that California, New York, and Texas take the lead. Given the fact that these states have the highest population, can we justify a claim that the residents are more generous when it comes to political contributions?

Generosity and Activism by State
Individual contributions from 2011-2014 by State

Individual political contributions per capita

In contrast, the contribution per capita tells a different story.  After this adjustment for population by state, Massachusetts and Connecticut lead for political generosity. Meanwhile Idaho and Mississippi consistently collect fewer total contributions and less per person. Other generous states are New York, Virginia, Wyoming, California, and Colorado.

Individual Political Contributions per Capita
A map of individual political contributions per capita

Measuring political activism

Can we measure political activism by analyzing the individual contribution data? When we look at the number of donors that make up the total population by state, surprisingly Montana seems to have a high number of political donors.

Measuring Political Activism
Percentage of state population donated


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