Volunteer Rate

Desired Trend

Up

Current Trend

Down
Baseline (2010): 32.1%
Current (2015): 25.4%

Theme Educated

Definition

Percent of residents who volunteer

Why is it Important?

Volunteering improves the community by providing important services such as feeding the hungry and mentoring youth. In addition, volunteering benefits those who volunteer by reducing isolation, improving health1, and for volunteers who are unemployed, increasing the likelihood of finding a job.Volunteering is a key indicator for sustainability because it reflects the amount of social capital in the region, which is the sum of relationships and interactions that build trust, create a sense of community, and empower residents to improve their communities. 

How are we Doing?

The volunteer rate in the St. Louis region has declined from 32.1 percent of residents volunteering in 2010 to 25.4 percent in 2015. Between 2010 and 2012, the volunteer rate in the St. Louis region held steady at around 32 percent, but has since steadily declined.

For several years, the St. Louis region had a relatively high volunteer rate. From 2012 to 2014, the region’s volunteer rate was 3.3 percentage points higher on average than the national rate. Among the 50 most populous metro regions, St. Louis had the 14th highest volunteer rate with a three-year average of 29 percent. More recent data shows that the volunteer rate in St. Louis is now much closer to the national average and no longer ranks as favorably among the peer regions. In 2015, the region’s volunteer rate was half of a percentage point higher than the national average, and  among the 50 peer regions, St. Louis dropped to the 30th highest rate.  

Volunteer Rate St. Louis

Geographic Level

St. Louis Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA). View map.

Notes

1 Grimm, Robert, Kimberly Spring, and Nathan Dietz. The Health Benefits of Volunteering: A Review of Recent Research Corporation for National & Community Service, April 2007; accessed on 12 December 2013 at http://www.nationalservice.gov/pdf/07_0506_hbr.pdf

2Spera, Chistopher, Robin Ghertner, Anthony Nerino, and Adrienne DiTommaso. Volunteering as a Pathway to Employment: Does Volunteering Increase Odds of Finding a Job for the Out of Work? Corporation for National & Community Service, June 2013; accessed on 12 December 2013 at http://www.nationalservice.gov/sites/default/files/upload/employment_research_report.pdf

Data Sources

Volunteering and Civic Life in America, Corporation for National & Community Service