New Study Shows Whether Republicans or Democrats Tip Better

Are you a good tipper? If you’re a Republican, white, male, and middle-aged, you probably are.

That’s the controversial result of a new report analyzing the tipping habits of millions of Americans.

They found out that the best tippers are men, from the Northeast, Republicans, and middle class. They also are more inclined to pay with debit cards.

If you meet those criteria, your average rate of tipping is about 20 percent.

Women, Democrats, and southerners who pay cash, on the other hand, leave a measly 15 percent tip.

The report, from CreditCards.com, surveyed more than 1,000 adults. The results are both controversial and, well … expected.

The poll found that whites were, on average, the most generous tippers – not only in the amount, but whether they would tip at all.

A full 94 percent of whites said they tip their restaurant server “all” or “most of the time,” while only 82 percent of Hispanics and 78 percent of blacks say they tip. Whites were also twice as likely to usually leave a tip that exceeds 15 percent.

The reason? Two-fold. One of them is income – whites generally have higher incomes than blacks or Hispanics. Another factor may be cultural. Many blacks and Hispanics are simply less familiar with the social expectation to tip 15 to 20 percent, says Richard Feinberg, a professor at Purdue University who has studied tipping. “A lot of tipping behavior is learned behavior; you learn from watching your parents, so if your parents don’t do it, how do you learn?” he says.

Politically, Republicans and independents are the big tippers. 57 percent of Independents and 59 percent of Republicans typically leave a restaurant tip that exceeds 15 percent. Only 46 percent of Democrats do.

Republicans are also more likely to tip workers at hair salons and coffee shops like Starbucks at all, compared to Democrats.

But one of the biggest indicators of a big tip: Credit versus cash. Nine in ten of debit and credit card users say they always tip, while only three in four cash payers do. Six in ten who pay in plastic tip more than 15 percent while only 45 percent of cash-payers do.

The saddest part: one third of Americans say they usually leave a tip of ten percent or less.

H/T: USA Today

Robert Gehl

About Robert Gehl

Robert Gehl is a college professor in Phoenix, Arizona. He has over 15 years journalism experience, including two Associated Press awards. He lives in Glendale with his wife and two young children.