Of course, these differences are part of what makes living in America so interesting.
One regional difference I’ve noticed is a greater predilection for volunteerism among people who live in the Midwest and Western regions.
That anecdotal observation on my part has now been confirmed by the results of a consumer survey conducted in late 2012 by New York-based Scarborough Research.
In broad terms, Scarborough found that approximately 27% of American adults reported having participated in some form of volunteer activities over the previous year.
That percentage breaks down further by demographic age clusters as follows:
- All Adults: ~27% have volunteered during the past year
- Baby Boomers (age 45-64): ~34%
- Gen Xers (age 30-44): ~27%
- Millennials (age 18-29): ~20%
- Silent Generation (age 65+): ~18%
Looking more closely at the 27% of respondents who volunteers, the Scarborough research revealed that, while volunteerism is found throughout the United States, certain urban markets have a distinctly larger proportion of their population so involved.
And when you look at the list – and Scarborough studied more than 85 local markets – you’re hard-pressed to find any of them located east of the Mississippi River. Instead, the list is completely skewed towards the Midwest and West:
- Salt Lake City, UT: ~42% of adults have volunteered during the past 12 months
- Des Moines, IA: ~34%
- Minneapolis-St. Paul, MN: ~34%
- Portland, OR: ~34%
- Grand Rapids, MI: ~33%
- San Francisco, CA: ~33%
- Seattle, WA: ~33%
- Green Bay, WI: ~32%
Which urban markets are at the bottom of Scarborough’s list? All of them are located in coastal states:
- Ft. Myers, FL: ~22% of adults have volunteered
- Las Vegas, NV: ~22%
- New Orleans, LA: ~22%
- Bakersfield, CA: ~21%
- El Paso, TX: ~21%
- Harlington, TX: ~20%
- Miami, FL: ~20%
- Providence, RI: ~20%
Scarborough also found that those who volunteer their time tend to be more generous with their financial support:
- They are ~84% more likely to have contributed to an arts or cultural organization within the past year
- … ~61% more likely to contribute to an environmental organization
- … ~60% more likely to financially support a social care, welfare or political organization
- … ~57% more likely to have contributed to a religious organization