According to a study by the Corporation for National and Community Service, more than 64 million Americans volunteered 7.9 billion hours of their time in 2011. This volunteer service had an estimated value of $171 billion dollars total. Although baby boomers and younger parents had the largest number of volunteer hours total, the greatest number of hours per volunteer was held by another category: those age 65 and older. This group averaged 92 hours per volunteer!
24% of individuals aged 65 and over volunteered 1.7 billion hours in 2011, in effect donating $37 billion dollars. Seniors volunteered in fundraising, collecting and preparing food, general labor, professional assistance, and many other categories.
Interestingly, volunteer rates vary dramatically by state. Utah leads the nation in volunteers with 41% followed closely by Idaho, Iowa, and Minnesota. Meanwhile, New York had the smallest percent of volunteers at 21% as Texas, California, and Florida also brought up the bottom.
Volunteering can have a great, positive impact on the economy. Many retirees use volunteer service to remain active and to have a positive impact within their local and national community. Even after leaving the workforce, today’s seniors are clearly extremely valuable to the economy and community. Volunteering is an excellent use of time for any age group.