Volunteering: Which state leads the volunteer rankings?

This entry is part 4 of 5 in the series Volunteering
CLICK THE MAP to visit the Volunteering America website and learn a lot more about volunteerism in all the 50 states.

CLICK THE MAP to visit the Volunteering America website and learn a lot more about volunteerism in all the 50 states.

Almost 65 million Americans volunteered in 2012, contributing 7.9 billion hours of service valued at $175 billion. But these figures are not evenly distributed across the nation.

Which state leads the volunteer rankings?
Which one comes in dead last?

The Corporation for National & Community Service collects data each year about volunteering across America. Their latest report covers volunteering in 2012; figures for volunteering in 2013 will be out soon (though I don’t expect to see big differences between 2012 and 2013).

Which state tops the rankings? It’s the Beehive State, better known as Utah.

Almost 44% of Utahans volunteer, taking the #1 spot in the rankings. Utah also has the highest volunteer retention rate, the highest Baby Boomer volunteer rate, the highest young adult volunteer rate, the highest college student volunteer rate, the highest veterans volunteer rate, the highest parents volunteer rate, and the highest Millennial and Gen X volunteer rates. The only measures that don’t earn them the top spot are their older adult volunteer rate (these Utahans are #3) and teenage volunteer rates (#7).

Which state comes in last place? Overall, it’s Louisiana, with about 20% of Louisianans volunteering in 2012. The volunteer rates for young adults, Millennials, and teenagers are the lowest in the nation.

South Carolina places last for volunteer retention rates, while Nevada takes last place for rates of volunteerism for older adults, Gen X, and parents. New Jersey takes last place for older adult volunteers. West Virginia takes the bottom spot for veterans who volunteer.

Want to know where your state—or town or city—rank? Click the map to visit Volunteering America’s website.

Are you surprised to know that Utah leads the nation in volunteering?

What do you make of where your state ranks?

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  1. Beth Miller says

    Again, no surprises regarding Utah. We moved from Michigan to Utah four years ago. Although Utah continues to be at the bottom of the heap when it comes to per-pupil funding, a visit to area schools is surprisingly impressive. I think this is largely due to parental involvement. Parent volunteers are everywhere. Parents donate additional resources, plan and prepare enrichment activities and give freely of their time. My theory – the Mormon “factor.” Mormon women in Utah are not encouraged to work outside of the home; Mormon mothers volunteer many hours for their children’s activities from school, sports to scouting. Then add the Mormon “missionary” service time – this is rather a “right of passage” for young Mormon adults. Young men volunteer 2 years as missionaries. In the Mormon “Wards” or churches, there are no paid staff…no paid clergy or youth directors or children’s ministry leaders; each member accepts their “calling” or ministry within the church. Considering the percentage of Utah residents who are Mormon, before I read your the answer as to what state ranks at the top, I expected to see Utah! In our local mainline denominational church,a much smaller percentage of the congregation volunteers.