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Oregon’s Millennials are making a difference in their communities

PORTLAND — More of Oregon’s Millennials are making a difference in their communities by volunteering; in fact, so many of them are volunteering that Oregon now has one of the nation’s highest volunteer rates for their generation.

That’s according to a report entitled “Volunteering and Civic Life in America,” (www.volunteer released Dec. 16, by the Corporation for National and Community Service ( The annual report uses Current Population Survey data to paint a picture of volunteerism and civic engagement in the country.

In 2012, the percentage of Oregon’s Millennial generation that volunteered increased to 30.6, up from 27.9 percent the year before, according to the report. It was the biggest jump of any of the age groups. (Note: For the report, Millennials are considered those who were 16 years old to 30 years old; the 2011 and 2012 numbers are based on three-year moving averages.)

Oregon is now third in the country in terms of its Millennial volunteering rate, trailing only Utah (No. 1 at 38.2 percent) and Vermont (No. 2 at 31.3 percent).

Some other take-aways from the report:

The Portland metropolitan area also saw an increase in volunteerism among Millennials. In 2012, 31.4 percent of Millennials in the Portland area volunteered, up from 30.5 percent the year before, making it 2nd in the nation among the 51 largest cities.

About 1 in 3 Oregonians volunteer. Nationwide, the number of people volunteering is about 1 in 4.

Oregon boasted an average of 42.1 volunteer hours per resident in 2012, an increase of 5.8 percent over the previous year.

In Salem, 38.7 percent of residents volunteered, tying it with Des Moines, Iowa, for 7th among mid-sized cities. Eugene had 32.8 percent of residents volunteer, making it 23rd in the country among mid-sized cities. Both Salem and Eugene had improved rates in 2012, compared to 2011. The report looked at 75 mid-sized cities.

“It’s heartening to see these jumps in volunteerism among our young people, our next generation of community leaders,” said Mike Fieldman, co-chairman of Oregon Volunteers Commission for Voluntary Action and Service (www.oregonvolun “Next year, we’d love to see similarly large increases among all Oregonians. Volunteering not only improves our state and its communities, but it gives the volunteers new skills and experiences. And data shows it helps improve an unemployed volunteer’s chances of getting a job.”

For more information on volunteering in Oregon, go to

Volunteering and Civic Life in America is the country’s most comprehensive study on volunteerism.

To see the report, go to


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