Lt. Governor Bell Announces New Federal Report Ranking
December 13, 2012
Author: Utah Commission on Volunteers
Salt Lake City- Lt. Governor Greg Bell, the Utah Commission on Volunteers and the Governor’s Office of Economic Development, in conjunction with the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) announce the 2012 Volunteering and Civic Life in America (VCLA) report ranking Utah as the #1 volunteering state in the nation for the 7th year running.
Volunteers in Utah demonstrated their commitment to improving their communities in a variety of ways last year and again earned the #1 ranking among the 50 states, according to the Volunteering and Civic Life in America (VCLA) report released yesterday. More than 837,000 volunteers served approximately 144 million total hours, which is the equivalent of over 69,000 full-time employees.
“Involved citizens do so much to make our communities stronger,” said Lieutenant Governor Greg Bell, who chairs the Utah Commission on Volunteers. “People here in Utah take pride in helping their neighbors and dedicating their time to address critical issues. Our residents are committed to strengthening our state and our nation through service to others.”
The VCLA data is part of the most comprehensive study of volunteering and civic engagement across the country. The annual report is issued by the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) as part of its efforts to expand the reach and impact of America’s volunteers, in partnership with the National Council on Citizenship, the U.S. Census Bureau, and the Bureau for Labor Statistics.
“This report quantifies what we already know about Utahns—that they are passionate about reaching out to their neighbors and in their communities,” said LaDawn Stoddard, Executive Director with the Utah Commission on Volunteers. “Finding ways to help others is ingrained in our culture and I hope Utahns will continue to dedicate themselves to this high level of service.”
Research from the VCLA 2012 report ranks Utah as the #1 volunteering state in the nation with 40.9% of adults volunteering. This volunteering rate is significantly above the national average of 26.8%. In addition to being ranked the #1 volunteering state in the nation, Utah ranked #1 in nine other categories.
The spirit of Utah's volunteerism is exemplified in individual cities also. As well as ranking first among all 50 states, the report also ranks the nation’s largest cities and metropolitan areas for their volunteering and civic engagement rates. The city of Provo leads the nation with the highest volunteer rate in the country at 58.5%. Ogden ranked 2nd overall and Salt Lake City ranked 4th
in the metropolitan cities category. The complete report can be accessed at VolunteeringInAmerica.gov
“All told, the total estimated economic value of volunteer service in Utah was about $3.7 billion based on the Independent Sector’s annual estimate of the average value of a volunteer hour, which was $21.79 in 2011,” said Spencer Eccles, Governor’s Office of Economic Development Executive Director. “Although the last few years have been a time of economic hardship, volunteering in Utah continues to be strong, providing positive tangible and intangible economic benefits. The effects on both our state and individuals should not be underestimated.”
As volunteers fill critical voids in their community’s infrastructure, state and local leaders increasingly recognize the key role they play in addressing economic and social challenges at this time of fiscal constraint. Governors work through state service commissions and local organizations to promote volunteerism and other resources to meet a range of state needs.
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About the VCLA Report
The Volunteering and Civic Life In America report is a joint effort of the Corporation for National and Community Service, the National Conference on Citizenship, the U.S. Census Bureau, and the Bureau for Labor Statistics to collect volunteering data annually through the Current Population Survey (CPS). The CPS is a monthly survey of about 60,000 households, (approximately 100,000 adults) conducted by the U.S. Census Bureau for the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Selected supplements collect data on the volunteering and civic activities of Americans age 16 and older for volunteering and 18 and older for the civic supplement. Volunteers are considered individuals who performed unpaid volunteer activities through or for an organization. The report includes information for all 50 states, Washington, D.C., more than 50 major metropolitan areas, and more than 140 other cities. Complete report available at VolunteeringInAmerica.gov.