Overall levels of volunteering are stable
Today’s data shows that rates of volunteering have not changed: 38% of people reported they had formally volunteered at least once a year in 2017-18. Although this is up 1% from 2016-17, this increase is not statistically significant, meaning that the increase is too small to be certain that it is not just due to chance. The same is true if we look at rates of ‘regular’ formal volunteering: over one in five (22%) of people reported they volunteered once a month, a figure that remains unchanged from last year.
25 to 34-year olds are the least likely to volunteer
People aged 25-34 years old are the least likely to formally volunteer with only 15% volunteering once a month. The highest rates of volunteering can be found among the 65-74 year olds, with 29% volunteering once a month and 42% at least once a year.
Volunteering rates are higher in rural and less deprived areas
People living in more deprived areas are less likely to volunteer formally. In 2017/18, 15% volunteered regularly in the most deprived areas of England compared with 29% in the least deprived. There is also divide between rural and urban areas: 29% of people living in rural areas volunteer formally on a monthly basis versus 21% of people in urban areas. These trends are unchanged from last year.
‘Wanting to do good’ remains the most important reason to volunteer
In 2017/18, improving things and helping others remains the most common reason why people get involved: 46% of people say that is why they volunteer. About a third (31%) of people said they gave time because the cause was important to them.
Having spare time is an important reason for people to get involved (25%) but also a barrier for people to get into volunteering or do it more frequently. One in two people (51%) said that work commitments are a barrier to volunteering and more than one third (37%) said they do other things in their spare time – up from 35% in 2016/17.
For further information and statistics please visit the NCVO Blog.