February 05, 2010
Both the number of volunteers and the volunteer rate rose over the year ended in September 2009. About 63.4 million people, or 26.8 percent of the population, volunteered through or for an organization at least once between September 2008 and September 2009. In 2008, the volunteer rate was 26.4 percent.
The volunteer rate of women increased from 29.4 percent in 2008 to 30.1 percent in 2009, while the volunteer rate for men, at 23.3 percent, was essentially unchanged.
In 2009, the main organization—the organization for which the volunteer worked the most hours during the year—was most frequently religious (34.0 percent of all volunteers), followed by educational or youth service related (26.1 percent). Another 13.9 percent of volunteers performed activities mainly for social or community service organizations.
These data were collected through a supplement to the September 2009 Current Population Survey (CPS). For a variety of information on volunteering, see "Volunteering in the United States—2009," (PDF) (HTML) news release, USDL 10-0097.