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Tax Time and Tax Exemptions

FRIDAY, APR 11, 2014

April 15 marks tax time America, but some entities are exempt from paying the government.  Our hospitals, schools, and religious institutions can qualify for this tax exemption

While you were filling out your tax return, Social Explorer used American Community Survey data to learn about these non-profits. 

Looking at different sectors, private non-profits employ 11,387,213 people (or 8.0 percent of the employed adult population).

The Census Bureau started counting this separate class of worker in 1990, with the term “Private Non-Profit” defined as “An employee of a private, not-for-profit, tax-exempt, or charitable organization.”  (For definitions of all the employment sector terms, please visit the Census Bureau documentation, available on the Social Explorer website.)

The following chart and table show how the different sectors have changed over the past two decades.


Employed Civilian Population   1990     2000   2008-12
Private Sector 70.7% 68.2% 67.1%
Public Sector 15.2% 14.6% 14.9%
Self-Employed 7.0% 9.8% 9.8%
Private Non-Profit 6.7% 7.2% 8.0%
Unpaid Family Worker 0.4% 0.3% 0.2%

The following map shows where the non-profit sector is distributed around the country.

Look around to see where non-profits are most concentrated.  Tompkins County, NY, has the highest percentage of non-profit sector workers (27.2 percent).  Located in upstate New York, the county is home to Cornell University, Ithaca College, and Tompkins Cortland Community College.  

Meanwhile Clark County, ID, Esmeralda County, NV, Storey County, NV, King County, TX, Loving County, TX, and Terrell County, TX, had zero people in the sector.

A number of tax-exempt non-profits are religious institutions.  The Census Bureau does not track religion data, but Social Explorer has other religion data resources.  According to the 2010 Religious Congregations & Membership Study, there are 344,894 congregations in the United States.  Those houses of worship report a total of 150,596,792 members.

When you're done with your tax returns, check out Social Explorer's map and report tools to learn more.

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