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volunteer statistical fun facts from around the world

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Although most of the research published does not lend itself to country-to-country comparisons, here's a compilation of stats from a variety of places around the world. If anything stands out to you, please share your thoughts in the comments boot of the page.

EarthGlobal Volunteering Statistics

  • Monthly number of global volunteers aged 15 years and older: 862,378,600 or almost 15%1
  • Monthly volunteer rates by type out of the total global population: 14.3% Informal Volunteering | 6.5% Formal Volunteering1
  • Formal volunteering by gender: 46.40% Women | 53.60% Men1
  • Informal volunteering by gender: 53.42% Women | 46.58% Men1

USAUSA Volunteering Statistics

Formal Volunteering Statistics (2019 to 2021)

  • Formal volunteering rates dropped in every demographic. Women had an 8% drop with Men having a 5% drop rate. Informal help remained the same.6
  • People aged 16-17 had the highest formal volunteer rate at 28%.6
  • Generation X (ages 41 to 56 in 2021) had the highest formal volunteer rate of all generations.6
  • Parents with children under 18 years of age formally volunteer at a higher rate than those without: 30% With Children | 21% Without Children6
  • The top 3 states for formal volunteering rates in 2021 were Utah (40.7%), Wyoming (39.2%) and Minnesota (35.5%).6

Informal Volunteering Statistics (2019 to 2021)

  • Nearly 51% or 124.7 million people over the age of 16 informally helped their neighbors between September 2020 and 2021.6
  • Baby boomers had the highest rate of informal volunteering: 59%6
  • Veterans informally helped their neighbors 8 percentage points higher than nonveterans. 59% vs 51%.6
  • The top 3 states for informal volunteering rates in 2021 were Montana (68.8%), Nebraska (66.4%) and Maine (65%).6

Canada-1Canada Volunteering Statistics

  • In 2018 the total number of volunteers (thousands) aged 15 years and older was: 24,4962
  • In 2018 the total hours volunteered (millions) aged 15 years and older was: 5,0352
  • In 2018 the full-time year-round job equivalents aged 15 years and older was: 2,622,2962
  • 2018 Monthly volunteer rates by type out of the total Canadian population: 38% Informal Volunteering | 6% Formal Volunteering.2
  • 22% of Canadians expect to rely on charities for basic needs.3
  • 55.2% of charities have fewer active volunteers than before the pandemic.3
  • Average annual formal volunteer hours, by organization type, aged 15 and over, Canada, 20189BI_Canada_Vol_by_industry-1

New ZealandNew Zealand Volunteering Statistics

  • Approximately 21.5% of New Zealanders participate in volunteer work.4
  • Total formal hours volunteered (millions): 159.4
  • Monthly volunteer rates by type out of total population: 36% Informal Volunteering | 30.2% Formal Volunteering.4
  • The number of people who volunteered at a community organisation in 2018 was 1,008,000 which is a decrease from the previous report indicating 1,229,054 volunteers in 2013.4
  • 89% of recent volunteers meet new people through their volunteering.5
  • For those interested in future ways of getting involved, what appeals most is:
    • 52% Opportunities to make use of existing skills or experience.
    • 50% Opportunities which look fun and enjoyable.
    • 44% Opportunities to combine with existing interests or hobbies.5
  • Over 1/3 of volunteers think things could be better organised and 1/4 feel there is too much bureaucracy.5
  • 1 in 5 volunteers feel like their volunteering is becoming too much like a paid job.5
  • 90% of volunteers feel their involvement makes a difference.5

Australia-1Australia Volunteering Statistics

  • In 2019, 29% (or almost 5.9 million people) of Australians aged 15 and over participated in unpaid voluntary work through an organisation. This has decreased from 34%-36% reported between 2006 and 2010.7
  • Volunteers contributed an estimated 596.2 million hours to the community in 2019.7
  • In 2019 a similar proportion of males and females participated in formal voluntary work. Men were 2% Higher than Women.7
  • 2019 Formal volunteering by age: 29% Age 15-24 | 36% Age 40-54 | 29% Age 55-69.7
  • Couples with children were more likely to volunteer than other family compositions. 37% Couples with Children | 23% Single Individuals.7
  • People living in households with higher incomes were generally more likely to volunteer.7
  • 33% of the Australian population over age 15 participated in informal volunteering in the 30 days prior to the GSS (General Social Survey) 2019.7
  • Covid-19 created many challenges that created a decline in volunteering. The 'Re-engaging Volunteers and COVID-19' survey, completed by nearly 600 respondents over December 2020 and January 2021, found:8
    • Nearly three quarters (72%) of organisations reported that their volunteer programs were either only partially operational (60%) or not operational (12%).
    • Four out of ten (42%) of respondents were not confident that their organisation will achieve pre-COVID levels of volunteering activity in the next six months.
    • Four out of ten (43%) reported experiencing an increase in demand for services, with over half (56%) reporting that they were short volunteers.
  • 25% of organisations are engaging more volunteers virtually or remotely than pre-COVID.8

United Kingdom-1United Kingdom VOLUNTEERING STATISTICS

  • In 2020/2021, approximately 8 million people in England took part in formal volunteering at least once a month which is the lowest recorded participation rate since data collection.10
  • In 2020/2021, approximately 14 million people in England took part in formal volunteering at least once a year which is lower than 2019/2020 (17 million).10
  • In 2020/2021 those living in rural areas showed higher participation in volunteering than those in urban areas (24% vs 16% at least once a month).10
  • Formal volunteering had no variability seen between gender, disability or region categories.10
  • In 2020/21 approximately 15 million people in England had taken part in informal volunteering at least once a month. This proportion is higher than in 2019/20 and the highest recorded since data collection began.10
  • In 2020/21 approximately 54% or 25 million people in England had taken part in informal volunteering at least once in the last year, similar to 2019/20 but lower than in 2013/14 when 58% took part.10


  1. 2022 State of the World's Volunteerism Report
  2. Volunteering counts: Formal and informal contributions of Canadians in 2018
  3. The 2023 Giving Report
  4. Volunteering New Zealand: Volunteering Statistics
  5. 2019 Time Well Spent Report
  6. Volunteering in America: New U.S. Census Bureau, AmeriCorps Research
  7. Australian Government Volunteers Report
  8. Report: Re-engaging volunteers and COVID-19, 2021
  9. Study: Volunteering in Canada: Challenges and opportunities during the COVID-19 pandemic
  10. Volunteering and Charitable Giving - Community Life Survey 2020/21

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