Washington, DC (January 20, 2007)- Although American still volunteer in large numbers, the rate of those devoting volunteer work decreased in 2006. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the number of people who volunteered time for a charitable organization decreased from 2005 to 2006 by about 2.1 percent. The 2006 figure was 26.7 percent of the American population.
Among other findings released by the BLS survey, “Volunteering in the United States 2006”:
* The median amount of time spent volunteering between September 2005 and September 2006 was 52 hours.
* Volunteers were most likely to volunteer for one organization (68.5 percent), although 19.8 percent of those who did volunteer supported more than one.
* Volunteers usually give their time to organizations that are religious (35 percent). Next are educational/youth services (26.4 percent) and social/community service organizations (12.7 percent). Volunteers aged 65 and older were likely to give their time to religious organizations. Young volunteers and parents focused more on education- and youth-related groups.
* The volunteer rate for Americans aged 65 and older has increased 64 percent since 1974. Baby Boomers are volunteering at higher rates than the previous generation at that point in their lives.
* About one-third of women and one-quarter of men volunteer, although both groups saw a decline in rates. This was true across age groups and education levels. Women were more likely to fundraise, tutor or teach. Men engaged in general labor and supervised sports.
* There was a gap between married people (32.2 percent) and those who never married (20.3 percent).
For the full report, visit the Bureau of Labor and Statistics.