Utah achieves national top volunteerism rate for 11th year
More than four in 10 Utahns volunteer within their communities
SALT LAKE CITY (Nov. 15, 2016) – Utah continues to lead the country in volunteerism, according to data released Tuesday by the Corporation for National and Community Service. The release of the Volunteering and Civic Life in America report marks the 11th year Utah has led the nation in total volunteerism.
According to the report, Utah is the only state to achieve a total volunteerism rate above 40 percent. Utah had 43 percent of their residents volunteer, while the second-highest state, Iowa, had 35 percent of their residents volunteer.
Volunteer activities, which can include everything from distributing food to mentoring to coaching youth sports, will prove even more important as a way to strengthen communities. In a country often divided on political lines, volunteering can provide a bridge between differences.
“Utahns have a strong history of volunteering and building their communities through service, which this ranking reflects,” Gov. Gary R. Herbert said. “Our greater sense of cooperation and charity makes for a more civil, generous society.”
The Volunteering and Civic Life in America report is part of a comprehensive study of volunteering and civic engagement in the United States. Annual data on volunteering and civic activities was collected from Americans age 16 and older through the Current Population Survey conducted by the U.S. Census Bureau.
According to the data, 844,023 Utah residents volunteered a total of 170 million hours of service. Those volunteer hours translated to an economic benefit of $3.8 billion. Additionally, 65 percent of Utah residents donated $25 or more to charity.
Three cities in Utah also ranked high in the report. Ogden claimed the top spot for mid-size cities from Provo, which fell to second. Salt Lake City has the second-highest percentage of residents volunteering among large cities.