1300.1.55.001 - Statistics News NSW, Sep 2007  
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 27/09/2007   
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Participation in Voluntary Work

Results from the recently released ABS publication Voluntary Work, Australia, 2006 (cat. no. 4441.0) show that 5.2 million people (34%) of the Australian population aged 18 years and over participated in voluntary work, contributing 713 million hours to community activities.

Participation in Voluntary Work
Graph: Participation in Voluntary Work by Part of State
Source: Voluntary Work, Australia, 2006 (cat. no. 4441.0)

Other key results are:
  • In couple families, around two-thirds (64%) of mothers and half (51%) of fathers of children aged 5-14 years volunteered in the previous 12 months, mostly through school groups and sports organisations.
  • 43% of current students were volunteers, these high rates continued for people with higher levels of education (45%).
  • Retired men and women gave the highest weekly hours of voluntary work; on average, 5.9 hours for retired men, and 3.5 hours for retired women.
  • Helping others (57%) and personal satisfaction (44%) were leading reasons given for volunteering, and another reason given by 38% of unemployed people and 39% of those not in the labour force, was to do something worthwhile.
  • People whose parents had been volunteers were more likely to be volunteers themselves, 43% compared with 23% of those whose parents had not been volunteers.
  • 77% of the population made donations of money to organisations.

If you are interested in a confidentialised unit record file for this information, the full set of voluntary work information is available on the General Social Survey, Basic Confidentialised Unit Record File, 2006 (cat. no. 4159.0.30.001), or General Social Survey, Expanded Confidentialised Unit Record File, 2006 (cat. no. 4159.0.30.002).

For further information contact Elisabeth Davis on (02) 6252 7880 or email client.services@abs.gov.au.