What We’re Reading: 2015 Volunteering & Civic Life in America Report
Today, the annual Volunteering and Civic Life in America research was released by NCoC and the Corporation for National & Community Service.
The research shows that the overall rate of volunteering is slightly lower than the previous year, yet remains strong and stable. Volunteering expands across all generations with 62.6 million adults (25.4%) participating in such activities – contributing a total of 7.7 billion hours.
Key demographic findings from the report include:
- Americans 35-44 years old had the highest volunteering rate (31.3%) followed by those 45-54 years old (29.4%). One in five of “Millennials”, or those of ages 16-31, (21.7%) volunteered.
- Older generations contributed the highest average number of volunteer hours with those 65-74 years old providing 92 hours and those 75 and older providing 90 hours.
- The volunteer rate among young adults (ages 18-24) attending college was 26.7%, nearly double the volunteer rate of young adults not attending college (13.5%). This gap reflects the important role of colleges and universities as catalysts for service, and challenges us to do more to engage more young people not attending college in service activities.
Other civic health indicators from the report found that two in three Americans (68.5%) have dinner with family or friends frequently. Meanwhile, three in four (75.7%) see or hear from friends and family at least a few times a week, and more than a third (36.3%) are involved in a school, civic, recreational, religious, or other organizations.
At this time of heightened unease, the civic health of our country and engagement of our citizens is particularly important. All sectors of society should redouble their efforts to promote greater connections among Americans. Our civic health is strongest when citizens engage with their neighbors and government.