Peace Corps announces top volunteer-producing states in 2018

District of Columbia holds No. 1 spot for second year; Massachusetts enters top ten for first time

WASHINGTON – Peace Corps released today its 2018 rankings of the top volunteer-producing states across the country. The nation’s capital is again the largest producer of volunteers per capita, after claiming the top spot in 2017 from longtime front-runner Vermont.

For the first time in history, Massachusetts makes the rankings, securing the No. 10 spot among states producing the largest number of total volunteers. At the top of the list, California and New York continue their decade-long streak as the No. 1 and No. 2 states, respectively.

After a two-year hiatus, New Hampshire is back on the per capita rankings at No. 7. Notably, Virginia, Maryland and Washington made both the top volunteer-producing states per capita and the total volunteer lists for the third year in a row. 

“Encouraging all Americans, from every corner of our country, to become involved in international service is something that continues to be at the forefront of my mind,” said Peace Corps Director Jody Olsen. “At the Peace Corps, we recognize the leaders who cultivate a culture of service in their states. Communities across America are embracing the domestic dividend of returned Peace Corps volunteers and, today, we celebrate these global citizens who contribute so much to our country.”

Peace Corps is unique among service organizations because volunteers live and work at the community level. Service in the Peace Corps is a life-defining, hands-on leadership experience that offers volunteers the opportunity to travel to the farthest corners of the world and make a lasting difference in the lives of others. Applicants can apply to specific programs by visiting the Peace Corps website and connecting with a recruiter.

Below find the nation’s top volunteer-producing states for 2018. View the list of volunteer numbers from all 50 states here

2018 Top States – Per Capita (# of volunteers per 100,000 residents)

1. District of Columbia – 14.8

2. Vermont – 6.9

3. Montana – 4.6

4. Oregon – 4.4

5. Virginia – 4.3

6. Maryland – 4.2

7. New Hampshire – 4.1

8. Maine – 4.0

8. Colorado – 4.0

8. Rhode Island – 4.0

11. Washington – 3.8

11. Minnesota – 3.8

2018 Top States – Total Volunteers

1. California – 836

2. New York – 475

3. Virginia – 364

4. Texas – 351

5. Illinois – 312

6. Florida – 311

7. Pennsylvania – 291

8. Washington – 285

9. Maryland – 257

10. Massachusetts – 242 

*Peace Corps data current as of September 30, 2018. 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.  

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About the Peace Corps: The Peace Corps sends Americans with a passion for service abroad on behalf of the United States to work with communities and create lasting change. Volunteers develop sustainable solutions to address challenges in education, health, community economic development, agriculture, environment and youth development. Through their Peace Corps experience, 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, more than 230,000 Americans of all ages have served in 141 countries worldwide.

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