Erie Vital Signs

Volunteerism: Total Number of Volunteers - PA & US

Recent Performance

This trend has been positive in the most recent year, although it is not back up to the levels reached in the mid-2000s.

In 2004, there were 3,161,210 volunteers in Pennsylvania, but the number declined by over 14 percent to 2,714,156 in 2012. The good news is that the number of volunteers in Pennsylvania increased by 1.6 percent from 2011 to 2012.

For the U.S. as a whole, the number of volunteers in 2012 was 64,512,846, but this decreased by 1.3 percent compared to the number of volunteers in 2005. The good news is that the number of volunteers in the U.S. increased slightly by 0.4 percent from 2011 to 2012.


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

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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