What Determines a ‘Kind Community’? Do You Live in One?
I’m sure we all have stories of neighborly deeds and random acts of kindness, but how do you determine where an entire community fits on the ‘kindness scale’? WalletHub thinks they’ve got it, and indeed their list of the top 6 Kindest Cities would appear to illustrate that. I’m a little skeptical.
WalletHub has given a lot of weight to charitable donations. That’s nice, but is the contribution of money an accurate measure of kindness? Is it perhaps a society’s low homeless rate… also a calculation considered by WalletHub. Just suppose good-hearted folks living in a less fortunate neighborhood distribute food, water and clothing to the local homeless community, as happens frequently in the Phoenix Metro region. Who’s keeping track of that?
To give these six kind communities their due, charitable contributions and documented volunteer hours are nothing to sneeze at. But I have to take issue with WalletHub’s units of measure. The rate at which people take credit for being kind is clearly a less-than-accurate gauge of their humanity. Take this list with a grain of salt, and let us never discount the millions of kind and thoughtful actions all around us, every day, that are achieved without applause or public recognition.
Tell us about a time when you encountered kindness.
Do You Live in One of America’s Kindest Communities?
By John Voket
If you are looking to live in one of the nation’s kindest communities, a recent WalletHub survey can help. WalletHub calculated the Most Caring Cities in America – comparing 100 of the largest U.S. markets across 32 key metrics, including “homelessness rate,” “percentage of income donated to charity” and “special-education teachers per capita.” Some key points of the survey include:
- Memphis, Tenn., has the highest share of income donated to charity, 5.4 percent, which is 2.8 times higher than in Laredo, Texas, the city with the lowest at 1.9 percent.
Virginia Beach, Va., has the most volunteering hours per capita, 45.9, which is 2.9 times more than in New Orleans, the city with the fewest at 16.0.
– Milwaukee has the highest share of residents who do favors for neighbors, 20 percent, which is four times higher than in Phoenix, the city with the lowest at 5 percent.
– Lexington, Ky., has the highest share of sheltered homeless persons, 98 percent, which is 4.1 times higher than in Fresno, Calif., the city with the lowest at 24 percent.
– Fremont, Calif., has the lowest child-poverty rate, 6.2 percent, which is 9.2 times lower than in Detroit, the city with the highest at 57.1 percent.
– Lincoln, Neb., has the most residents who work in community and social services per 100,000 residents, 1,164.79, which is 3.3 times more than in Las Vegas, the city with the fewest at 351.25.
The listing is not without its peculiar metric, however. For example, Pittsburgh, which ranked 9th best among the top 10 cities on the survey also came in as 6th worst in percentage of income donated to charity per capita. And every one of the bottom five cities with the lowest percentage of workers who carpool also made the top 20 of best overall cities for kindness and giving – perhaps a reflection on urban density or the quality of public transportation.
Check out where your city ranks on kindness and charitable giving at WalletHub.