youth volunteering rate much higher than in the 1970s and ’80s

At CIRCLE, we often receive questions about the youth volunteering rate today compared to past generations. The following graph, based on Census data, shows that young people are considerably more likely to volunteer than they were in 1974 or 1989, two years when the Census Current Population Survey included a volunteering question that has also been asked annually since 2002. There have been ups and downs in recent years, but the growth compared to 1989 is striking.

volunteering rate for ages 16-19

Data points from 1974 and 1989 were calculated by Grimm, Dietz, Foster-Bey, Reingold, and Nesbit (PDF). Data points since 2002 were calculated by CIRCLE. See more detail on recent years here.

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