A nationwide survey of American adults shows nearly 90 percent play Santa more than Scrooge by donating time, money or both to charities serving causes ranging from homelessness to the environment, a survey shows.

The survey by USA Weekend found the central states from Minnesota and North Dakota south to Texas are the most charitable, with Western states the least charitable.The poll also showed that women are more generous than men and people aged 35 to 54 are more likely to make donations than those younger or older.

The nationwide telephone survey of 801 adults, conducted by the Gordon S. Black Corp., has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.5 percent.

The survey found that 62 percent of Westerners felt obliged to help those less fortunate than themselves, compared with 77 percent of Midwesterners, 75 percent of Southerners, 71 percent of Northeasterners and 68 percent of people in the Great Lakes region.

Thirty-five percent of people in the Great Lakes region said they feel "bad" about not giving more time to charity, while 68 percent of those in the West and South reported having turned down a charity because they didn't trust it.

Broken down by age, 39 percent of people 35-54 said they felt obligated to give time or money to charity, compared with 31 percent of those younger or older.

And the poll also found that the holiday spirit does indeed bring out the best in people: 70 percent of women do something special for charity at the holidays, while 54 percent of men do.