indicatorThe Owl

Eight in ten Canadians volunteered in 2018

At 83 per cent, the volunteering rate in Alberta was just slightly higher than the national average

By ATB Economics 26 April 2021 1 min read

It’s not included in calculations of economic output such as Gross Domestic Product, but we know that volunteering* makes a significant contribution to both a wide range of organizations and our quality of life.

A new report from Statistics Canada shows that over 24 million people volunteered in 2018 or about 79 per cent of Canadians aged 15 and older.

The five billion hours spent volunteering in 2018 are equal to 2,622,296 full-time year-round jobs (assuming 40 hours of work per week for 48 weeks).

On average, each volunteer donated 206 hours of their time.

At 83 per cent, the volunteering rate in Alberta was just slightly higher than the national average.

The study also shows that volunteering rates and hours vary across generations.

“For example, formal volunteering, that is volunteering mediated by organizations, was more frequent among younger generations and less common among older generations.

Although they had the lowest formal volunteer rate, mature volunteers (born between 1918 and 1945) contributed the most average hours per year, at 222. In contrast, iGens (born in 1996 and later) gave on average 82 hours of their time.”

*Statistics Canada defines volunteerism as “the participation in purposeful helping activities without monetary compensation.”

Answer to the previous trivia question: On more than one occasion, NASA has sent spiders to the International Space Station to see if they can spin their webs in a zero gravity environment. After some false starts, the spiders figured it out. As such, these spidernauts are a great metaphor for adapting to unwanted change. For more on adapting when your gravity disappears, check out the latest The Future Of podcast series.

Today’s trivia question: Which province had the highest volunteering rate in 2018?

Volunteering rates vary across generations

Volunteering rates vary across generations

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