The Associated Press
WASHINGTON — The spirit of volunteerism is thriving in the heartland, but not so much on the coasts.
Midwesterners are more likely to volunteer their time than are people elsewhere in the United States, according to a government study being released today. The highest rates were in the Minneapolis-St. Paul metropolitan area, where more than four in 10 adults volunteered.
“It’s really about Minneapolis’ commitment to the quality of life,” said Michael Weber, president and chief executive of Volunteers of America of Minnesota. “If you look at the entire society, it says we will give back to the community and take care of our society.”
The Corporation for National and Community Service, a federal agency, used Census Bureau data to determine the share of people age 16 and older who had volunteered their time in the previous year.
The study provides three-year averages, for 2004 through 2006, for the 50 largest metropolitan areas.
Minneapolis-St. Paul was followed at the top by Salt Lake City; Austin, Texas; Omaha, Neb.; and Seattle.
Las Vegas had the lowest volunteer rate, 14.4 percent. It was joined at the bottom by Miami; New York; Virginia Beach, Va.; and Riverside, Calif.
Nationally, 26.7 percent of adults in 2006 said they had volunteered in the previous year.