Erie Vital Signs

Volunteerism: PA & US Volunteer Rates

Recent Performance

This trend is mixed or inconclusive.

This trend is mixed or inconclusive. It has stabilized for Pennsylvania in recent years, but fell slightly in the U.S. between 2012 and 2013.

As of 2013, the volunteer rate in Pennsylvania stood at 27.0 percent. This was below the 2004 high of 32.5 percent. After increasing slightly in 2007 to 28.7 percent, the PA volunteer rate has stabilized at about 27 percent since 2010.

With a few minor exceptions, the volunteer rate in Pennsylvania has been consistently above the rate for the U.S. as a whole throughout the period 2002-2013, and was higher than the rate of 25.8 percent for Erie in 2010 (the latest year for which local data are available).

The U.S. volunteer rate has fallen to 25.4 percent in 2013 compared to 28.8 percent in 2005. Although the rate was relatively stable at about 26 percent from 2006 to 2012, it decreased slightly between 2012 and 2013.


The Basics

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

Why is this 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

Along with U.S. and PA data, these variables include data on 10 of the 13 standard EVS peer areas. 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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