The kindest state in America revealed

While we’re all a part of the United States of America, some states take the ‘united’ part a little bit further. From spontaneous gestures of goodwill, the heroes pointing out that not-so-sneaky spinach in-between your two front teeth (we’ve all been there) to paying for a stranger's coffee The sort of gestures that come with a no-return policy or no expectation of personal brownie points, these are what we call ‘random acts of kindness’.  

By surveying 3,000 Americans, we've created the ultimate 'kindness index'. We asked some of the biggest questions that embody kindness, from donating an organ to a family member, helping a friend in financial difficulties, charity work, and helping a stranger on public transport.  

Key findings:

  • South Carolina is coined as the ‘kindest state’ in America, scoring full marks on the kindness index (1 out of 1) 

  • Oklahoma ranked as the least kind state, with a score of 0

  • West Virginia residents are ranked as the second kindest, with a score of 0.94 out of 1 

  • 87% of Americans would donate an organ to a family member in need 

  • 90% of Americans would lend money to a friend/family in financial difficulties 

  • 91% of respondents would do charity work of volunteering of some kind 

  • Almost 90% of Americans would give blood (so long as they’re eligible) 

The Kindest States in America

It’s a Southern thing: The kindest state in America

If it’s cool to be kind, then these folks truly are the coolest of the bunch. Kicking off down south, living up to their ‘southern hospitality’ reputation, is South Carolina. The Palmetto State is ranked as the kindest out of all 50 states, scoring a sparkling 1/1 on the kindness index.  

South Carolinians seem to have kindness running through their veins, as 95% of residents from this slow-living state would be an organ donor for a family member, 8% higher than the national average. Need a financial hand? No problem – 95% are ready to lend money to a friend or family member. Similarly, when asked if they would donate blood, 95% answered ‘yes’. 100% are on board with giving back to the community – whether it’s volunteering, donating money or supporting a local food bank. And just when you thought they couldn’t get any nicer, a unanimous 100% stated they would help a stranger, colleague, neighbor and somebody on public transport.  

With good weather all year-round and low crime rates, being the ‘kindest’ state is just another feather in South Carolina’s cap. Time to snag that one-way ticket to the South. 

United States of kindness: America’s top and least kindest states

The southern charm doesn’t end there. Next up we have West Virginia, proudly holding the title of the second kindest state on our index (0.94/1). Embracing kindness is a way of life for these Mountain State residents, whether it’s paying for a stranger’s coffee, picking up litter, assisting neighbors with their trash, or simply spreading kindness by playing office barista, 100% were on board.  

But that’s not all, when it comes to giving back, West Virginians are all heart. A unanimous 100% would give blood, and 92% left their selfishness at the door and would become an organ donor for a family member.  

Putting the ‘sweet’ in sweet home Alabama, we have the Cotton State third on the kindness ranking, scoring 0.93. Public transport etiquette is their forte, as 100% agreed. Offering directions, giving up your seat or helping someone with their bags? It’s Alabamians to the rescue. They also scored pretty impressively across the board, whether it be random acts of kindness involving a neighbor or stranger, charity work, lending money to a friend/family member or donating an organ to a family member (96% said they would).  

Over to New Hampshire, a haven of lakes, mountains, and evidentially, kindness. Scoring 0.92/1 on our scale, they came in just behind Alabama. The state scored full marks (100%) when asked if they would donate an organ to a family member and aid friends in financial crisis. A friend in need? Well, New Hampshirites have your back, as 89% would spontaneously send flowers to a pal. Talk about random acts of kindness.  

Passing over the kindness baton to our joint fourth place winner, we have none other than Beehive state, Utah. Similarly scoring 0.92/1 on the scale. It’s the small acts of kindness that go a long way over in Utah, as 100% of Utahn’s collectively agreed that they would lend money to a friend/family member, be charitable, send flowers to a friend and help a colleague, neighbor or someone on public transport.  

Top 10 kindest states:

  1. South Carolina 

  2. West Virginia 

  3. Alabama 

  4. New Hampshire 

  5. Utah 

  6. Connecticut 

  7. New Mexico 

  8. Kentucky 

  9. Nevada 

  10. Wisconsin 

Top 10 least kind states:

  1. Oklahoma

  2. Iowa

  3. Missouri

  4. Mississippi

  5. Texas

  6. Idaho

  7. Louisiana

  8. Kansas & Pennsylvania

  9. Illinois & Michigan

  10. New York

America’s collective kindness ranking

All aboard the kindness express, as we embark on a nationwide journey to explore the depth of kindness across America as whole. When it comes to being public transport heroes, Americans have it covered. An impressive 97% stated they would be kind to a stranger on public transport. The nation is more than willing to shower strangers with random acts of kindness through compliments or picking up litter (96% agreed).  

It seems there are some charitable individuals amongst us, as 91% stated they would volunteer, and donate to charity or a foodbank. 87% of Americans stated they’d be an organ donor for a family member, whilst 89% would give blood. 

Kindness index wrap-up:

Whether you’re planning a vacation or already call one of these ‘kindest’ states home, you’re guaranteed a nice time. Remember a random act of kindness can go a long way, so take some inspiration from our list. Afterall, we all need a bit of kindness in our lives. 


We surveyed 3,000 U.S. residents asking them whether they would commit some of the kindest acts The Random Acts of Kindness Foundation offers. The answers were collated, and a unique, weighted scoring system was applied to each data point depending on their contribution to the final ‘kindness score’. All state’s results were scored out of 1, 1 being the kindest, and 0 being the least. The weighting applied was as follows: 

  1. Would you donate an organ to a family member? (30%) 

  2. Would you lend money to a friend/family member? (20%) 

  3. Would you give blood? (15%) 

  4. Would you donate money to charity, food bank or volunteer? (10%) 

  5. Would you help/be kind to a stranger? (5%) 

  6. Would you help/be kind to a colleague? (5%) 

  7. Would you help/be kind to a neighbor? (5%) 

  8. Would you be kind to someone on public transport? (5%) 

  9. Would you send flowers to a friend? (5%) 

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