Peace Corps Announces Eighteen Percent Increase in Applications

WASHINGTON, D.C. Peace Corps recruited 15,386 applicants in fiscal year 2009. This represents the largest amount of applications since the agency began electronically recording applications in 1998 and is an 18 percent increase from fiscal year 2008.*

Our record application numbers are another indicator of the strong interest in public service, said Peace Corps Director Aaron S. Williams. From recent college graduates to our mid-career or retired applicants, Americans are inspired to serve both their country and the world as a Peace Corps volunteer. Peace Corps is a tremendous leadership opportunity for individuals prepared to live and work for two years in a community abroad.

As of September 30, 2009, 7,671 Peace Corps and Peace Corps Response volunteers and trainees are serving worldwide in 74 host countries. While the average age of a Peace Corps volunteer is 25, 6 percent of Peace Corps volunteers are over 50 and the oldest currently-serving volunteer is 85. Sixteen (16) percent of volunteers are minorities and 60 percent are women. Eighty-nine (89) percent of volunteers hold at least a bachelors degree.

Peace Corps Global Operations are divided into three regions:
  • Africa Region: 2860 Peace Corps volunteers serve in 27 countries/posts. The largest number of Peace Corps volunteers serving in one country is 180 in Mozambique.
  • Inter-America and the Pacific Region: 2480 Peace Corps volunteers serve in 22 posts and 28 countries. The largest number of Peace Corps volunteers serving in one country is 221 in Paraguay.
  • Europe, the Mediterranean and Asia Region: 2331 Peace Corps volunteers serving in 19 countries/posts. The largest number of Peace Corps volunteers serving in one country is 339 in Ukraine. Ukraine is the agencys largest program.

Peace Corps volunteers serve in seven general skill sectors:

  • Education: 35 percent
  • Health & HIV/AIDS: 22 percent
  • Business Development: 15 percent
  • Environment: 14 percent
  • Agriculture: 5 percent
  • Youth Development: 5 percent
  • Other Sectors: 4 percent

As Peace Corps approaches its 50th anniversary, its service legacy continues to promote peace and friendship around the world in 74 host countries. Historically, nearly 200,000 Americans have joined the Peace Corps to promote a better understanding between Americans and the people of the 139 countries in which they have served. Peace Corps Volunteers must be U.S. citizens and at least 18 years of age. Peace Corps service is a 27-month commitment. To learn more about the Peace Corps, please visit our website:

* All figures based on fiscal year 2009 data as of September 30, 2009.

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