The annual Volunteering and Civic Life in America research, released on December 8 by the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) and the National Conference on Citizenship (NCoC), shows that service to others continues to be a priority for hundreds of thousands of South Carolinians.
This year’s report found that 875,800 South Carolina residents (23.1 percent) volunteered through an organization in 2014. The estimated value of this volunteer service is $3.1 billion, based on the Independent Sector’s estimate of the average value of a volunteer’s hours.
In addition, 66.3% of South Carolina residents also engaged in informal volunteering in their communities, helping neighbors with such tasks as watching each other’s children, helping with shopping, or house sitting. Other civic health indicators from the report found that 94% of South Carolinians have dinner with their family virtually every day, while 88.8% frequently talk with neighbors.
The research shows that the overall national rate of volunteering is slightly lower than the previous year yet remains strong and stable, and that Americans’ commitment to volunteering spans across generations. Key national demographic highlights of the report include:
Americans aged 35-44 had the highest volunteer rate (29.8 percent) followed by those aged 45-54 (28.5 percent). 35-44 year olds also report the highest rates of participation in organizations among all generational groups at 40.5 percent.
One in five (21.7 percent) of Millennials (aged 16-32) volunteered. Young adults aged 18-24 attending college volunteer at twice the rate (26.6 percent) of their non-college attending peers (13.2 percent).
Older Americans tend to volunteer more hours. In 2014, the age groups with the highest median hours among volunteers were ages 65-74 (81 hours) and those 75 and older (100+ hours).
The volunteer rate of parents with children under age 18 is higher than the national average at 31.6 percent. Working mothers continue to maintain the highest rate of volunteering among all populations at 36 percent.