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Peace Corps Announces Top Volunteer-Producing States and Metropolitan Areas in 2015

Alaska appears as a leading producer per capita for the first time since 2009

WASHINGTON, D.C., Dec. 8, 2015 – The Peace Corps today released its 2015 rankings of the top volunteer-producing states and metropolitan areas across the country. For the first time in six years, Alaska appears on the list as the third largest producer of volunteers per capita with 4.5 out of every 100,000 residents in service. For the fifth consecutive year, Washington appears in all four ranking categories and remains the only state to do so.

Ithaca tops the list of metro areas per capita for the third year in a row with 10.51 volunteers out of every 100,000 residents in service. College towns remain significant Peace Corps producers with previously unranked Colombia, Missouri, Iowa City, Iowa, and Portland, Maine, joining Ithaca on the top states per capita list, ranking No.4, No.7 and No. 9, respectively. New York-Newark-Jersey City is again the top metro area based on total population but remains in tight competition with Washington-Arlington-Alexandria (No.2) and Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim (No.3). Vermont held its spot as the top producer of volunteers per capita and California continues to lead the country as the greatest producer of total volunteers.

“The hometown perspectives and values Peace Corps volunteers bring to the communities they serve become an integral part of the intercultural exchange that takes place during Peace Corps service,” Peace Corps Director Carrie Hessler-Radelet said. “We are so grateful to the communities across the United States that instill a sense of service and purpose in their citizens and drive their residents to give back to communities beyond their borders.”   

This year’s rankings follow a 40-year high in application numbers, reinforcing the agency’s role as a dynamic, forward-leaning champion for international service more than half a century after its creation. Americans interested in Peace Corps service can browse opportunities by country of service, area of interest and departure date at peacecorps.gov/openings/.

Below find the nation’s top 10 volunteer-producing states and metropolitan areas for 2015:

1. Vermont – 8.3
2. District of Columbia – 6.5 
3. Washington – 4.5
3. Montana– 4.5
3. Alaska– 4.5
6. Minnesota- 4.1
6. Maine – 4.1
8. New Hampshire - 4.0
8. Oregon - 4.0
10. Colorado – 3.8
 
 
1. California - 915
2. New York - 416
3. Washington -319
4. Florida - 299
5. Pennsylvania - 286
6. Illinois -278
7. Texas -277
8. Virginia - 274
9. Ohio - 238
10. Minnesota - 224
 
 
1. Ithaca, NY – 10.51
2. Missoula, MT – 8.87
3. Burlington-South Burlington, VT - 8.33
4. Columbia, MO – 6.95
5. Olympia, WA – 6.39
6. Glens Falls, NY – 6.28
7. Iowa City, IA – 6.08
8. Bremerton-Silverdale, WA – 5.90
9. Portland-South Portland-Biddeford, ME – 5.73
10. Green Bay, WI – 5.72
 
 
1. New York-Northern New Jersey-Long Island, NY-NJ-PA - 349
2. Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV - 310
3. Los Angeles-Long Beach-Santa Ana, CA - 253
4. Chicago-Joliet-Naperville, IL-IN-WI - 225
5. Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, WA - 179
6. Boston-Cambridge-Quincy, MA-NH - 176
7. Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington, MN-WI - 159
8. Philadelphia-Camden-Wilmington, PA-NJ-DE-MD - 150
9. Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Marietta, GA - 130
10. San Francisco-Oakland-Fremont, CA - 129
 
 

A list of volunteer numbers from each state is available here.

*Peace Corps data current as of September 30, 2015. 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 CorpsThe 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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