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Young people's involvement in voluntary work

The ABS document, Voluntary Work, Australia, 2006 (cat. no. 4441.0) contains results from the national Voluntary Work Survey conducted throughout Australia as part of the General Social Survey (GSS).

Results show that 574,000 (30%) 18?24-year-olds undertook voluntary work in 2006. This compares to 34% of persons aged 18 years and over. The age group with the highest rate of volunteering was the 35 to 44-year-olds (42.7%).

Among 18 to 24-year-olds, the volunteering rate was higher for people:
  • born in Australia (31%) compared with those born outside Australia (25%);
  • living outside a state capital (34%) compared to those in capital cities (28%);
  • living in areas with the highest quintile of socioeconomic status (42%) compared with those in the lowest quintile (22%).
The most common reasons for 18 to 24-year-olds volunteering were to help others/community (53%) and personal satisfaction (43%) (respondents could report more than one reason).

For 41% of this age group of volunteers, the time since they had first volunteered was one to five years, and 42% were involved in voluntary work at least once a week. The organisations where the highest percentage (37%) of males volunteered were sport/physical recreation organisations, with the second highest percentage (13.7%) volunteering for religious organisations. Female involvement was more evenly spread with the highest rates of engagement in education and training (22.7%), sport/physical recreation (18.2%), community welfare (17.8%) and religious (14.9%) organisations.

Source: Australian Bureau of Statistics 2007, Children and Youth News, 29 November 2007 (newsletter), cat. no. 4105.0,  ABS, Canberra [viewed 29/11/2007]; and Voluntary work, Australia (PDF document) 2006 (cat. no. 4441.0) [viewed 30 November 2007].