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Peace Corps Announces Top Volunteer-Producing States and Metropolitan Areas in 2014

Washington is first-ever state in the top three for both total volunteers & volunteers per capita

WASHINGTON, D.C., Dec. 16, 2014 – The Peace Corps today released its 2014 rankings of the top volunteer-producing states and metropolitan areas across the country. This year, Washington state jumped to the No. 3 spot for total volunteers and volunteers per capita, with 320 residents currently serving and 4.6 out of every 100,000 residents in service. Washington is the first state ever in Peace Corps’ rankings to earn a top three spot in both categories.

For four years in a row, Washington has appeared in all four ranking categories—the only state to do so. In addition to its No. 3 position for total volunteers and volunteers per capita, Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue took the No. 5 spot among top metro areas, and Olympia-Tumwater took the No. 4 spot among top metro areas per capita.

California continues to lead the country as the greatest producer of total Peace Corps volunteers, and Vermont held its spot as the top producer of volunteers per capita. The leading metro area for Peace Corps volunteers is again New York-Newark-Jersey City, and Ithaca, New York is again the top metro area per capita. Among all categories, Missoula, Montana, made the biggest jump in 2014, moving from sixth place to second place in the rankings of the top metro areas per capita.

“Peace Corps volunteers promote a better understanding of Americans around the world by sharing their unique hometown perspective during their service,” Peace Corps Director Carrie Hessler-Radelet said. “As we forge a modern Peace Corps for modern times, we remain committed to building a volunteer force that reflects the rich diversity of our country and doing more to recruit and retain the best and brightest across the U.S.”

This year’s rankings follow historic reforms to Peace Corps’ application and selection process, led by Hessler-Radelet, that resulted in a 22-year application high for the agency in 2014. The Peace Corps has eight regional recruitment offices in the U.S. that work closely with prospective volunteers of all ages and backgrounds.

Below find the nation’s top 10 volunteer-producing states and metropolitan areas for 2014:

2014 Top States – Total Volunteers

1. California – 926
2. New York – 412
3. Washington – 320
4. Florida – 305
5. Illinois – 284
6. Pennsylvania – 270
7. Texas – 269
8. Virginia – 260
9. Ohio – 237
10. Colorado – 236

Top States Total Volunteers Infographic (PDF)

Top States Total Volunteers Infographic (JPEG)

2014 Top States – Per Capita (# of volunteers per 100,000 residents)

1. Vermont – 7.8
2. District of Columbia – 6.7
3. Washington – 4.6
4. Colorado – 4.5
5. New Hampshire – 4.3
6. Idaho – 4.2
7. Montana – 4.1
7. Oregon – 4.1
9. Minnesota – 3.7
9. Maine – 3.7

Top States Per Capita Infographic  (PDF)

Top States Per Capita Infographic (JPEG)

2014 Top Metropolitan Areas – Total Volunteers

1. New York-Newark-Jersey City, NY-NJ-PA – 335
2. Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV – 284
3. Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim, CA – 263
4. Chicago-Naperville-Elgin, IL-IN-WI – 224
5. Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, WA – 176
6. Boston-Cambridge-Newton, MA-NH – 167
7. San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA – 151
8. Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington, MN-WI – 142
9. Philadelphia-Camden-Wilmington, PA-NJ-DE-MD – 141
10. Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Roswell, GA – 132

Top Metro Areas Total Volunteers Infographic (PDF)

Top Metro Areas Total Volunteers Infographic (JPEG)

2014 Top Metropolitan Areas – Per Capita (# of volunteers per 100,000 residents)

1. Ithaca, NY – 14.5
2. Missoula, MT – 8.1
3. Burlington-South Burlington, VT – 7.0
4. Olympia-Tumwater, WA – 6.9
5. Boulder, CO – 6.8
6. Fort Collins, CO – 6.7
7. Santa Fe, NM – 6.1
7. Grand Junction, CO – 6.1
7. Green Bay, WI – 6.1
10. Eugene, OR – 5.9

Top Metro Areas Per Capita Infographic (PDF)

Top Metro Areas Per Capita Infographic (JPEG)


Volunteer numbers from all 50 states are available here.

*Peace Corps data current as of September 30, 2014. The metropolitan area data used to determine Peace Corps’ rankings are derived from the most current U.S. Census Bureau “Metropolitan and Micropolitan Statistical Area” data. Volunteers self-report their home city and state on their Peace Corps application.

About the Peace Corps : The Peace Corps sends the best and brightest Americans abroad on behalf of the United States to tackle the most pressing needs of people around the world. Volunteers work at the grassroots level to develop sustainable solutions that address challenges in education, health, economic development, agriculture, environment and youth development. Through their service, volunteers gain a unique cultural understanding and a life-long commitment to service that positions them to succeed in today’s global economy. Since President John F. Kennedy established the Peace Corps in 1961, nearly 220,000 Americans of all ages have served in 140 countries worldwide. For more information, visit www.peacecorps.gov and follow us on Facebook and Twitter .


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