4441.0 - Voluntary Work, Australia, 2000  
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 20/06/2001   
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June 20, 2001
Embargoed: 11:30 AM (AEST)
More than 4 million Australians do voluntary work

Nearly one-third (4.4 million) of Australians aged 18 years and over did voluntary work in 2000, according to results released today by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).

Volunteers contributed 704.1 million hours of unpaid work, and almost a third of volunteers worked for more than one organisation.

In addition to donating time, more than three quarters (10.3 million) of Australians made personal monetary donations in the 12 months prior to being interviewed.

Volunteer rates varied across States and Territories, being highest in South Australia (38 percent) and lowest in New South Wales (29 percent).

People were more likely to be volunteers if they lived outside a capital city. The volunteer rate was 28 percent for capital cities compared to 38 percent outside the capital cities.

Overall, women were slightly more likely to volunteer than men (33 percent compared to 31 percent) but among people aged 55 years and over this pattern was reversed.

People aged 35-44 years reported the highest rate of volunteering (40 percent). At these ages people are more likely to be married with children and their higher than average volunteer rate reflects family commitments. This was particularly the case for women.

Sport/recreation organisations attracted the largest numbers of men and community/welfare the largest numbers of women.

Fundraising and management were the most commonly reported activities. Women were twice as likely as men to prepare and serve food whereas men were nearly three times as likely as women to do repairs, maintenance and gardening and nearly twice as likely to be coaching and refereeing.

Regular (weekly) voluntary work accounted for nearly three-quarters of all voluntary hours worked, indicating a substantial commitment of time, skill and effort on the part of volunteers. Almost half of all volunteers gave their time because it provides benefits to the community and a similar proportion volunteered because they found it personally satisfying.

Further details are in Voluntary Work, Australia 2000 (cat. no. 4441.0) available in ABS bookshops. The main features of the publication are available on this site. If you wish to purchase a copy of this publication, contact the ABS Bookshop webpage.