Erie Vital Signs

Volunteerism: Local Volunteer Rates

This trend is negative or needs improvement.

Despite the economic crisis, the national volunteer rate went up to 26.8 percent in 2009, with 63.4 million volunteers donating approximately 8.1 billion hours of service in communities across the country. However, those figures declined slightly in 2010 to 26.3 percent and 62.8 million volunteers.

In 2010, approximately 2.7 million volunteers in Pennsylvania contributed 399 million hours of service. In Pennsylvania, more than 41,000 people participate in national service each year through 3,260 national service projects and programs.

Locally, Erie County’s volunteer rates are below those of Pennsylvania and the nation.


The Basics

Volunteerism is the use or involvement of people who freely offer their time and labor, especially in community services.

Why It's Important

Measuring volunteerism is a way of seeing how many citizens freely invest their time and efforts in the community. In other words, measuring volunteerism shows how many people care enough about their community to freely invest in it. If many citizens are volunteering in a community, one can conclude that the area is well taken care of. People will take better care of, or be more aware of the happenings in their community if they are devoted to it. Volunteering is one such way that people invest themselves in their community. If volunteerism is strong, it can be concluded that the community is well taken care of. The community that has weak volunteerism indicates low investment of the citizens, and an area that is not well cared for.

The Details

A major source of information on volunteerism is the Corporation for National & Community Service. The original data source is a supplement to the Current Population Survey (CPS) conducted by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). However, the BLS does not publish that data set; it only puts out annual summaries with national data.

The Nitty-Gritty Details

Corporation for National & Community Service, Volunteering and Civic Life in America 2014: National, Regional, State, and City Information

Subcategories

This EVS indicator has no subcategories.

Peer Areas

These variables include data on 10 of the 13 standard EVS peer areas, along with U.S. and PA data. Data are also available for other cities such as Pittsburgh and Philadelphia.

Frequency

Annual

Source

Corporation for National & Community Service, Volunteering and Civic Life in America 2014: National, Regional, State, and City Information

Additional Studies and Research

U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Economic News Release: Volunteering in the United States, 2014

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