Peace Corps Announces Top Volunteer States and Metropolitan Areas

California leads list of top states; Missoula, Mont., leads metro areas per capita

WASHINGTON, D.C., December 8, 2011 In 2011, California, New York, and Texas topped the list of states Peace Corps volunteers called home, while the greatest number of volunteers per capita came from the District of Columbia, Vermont, and Oregon. Currently, there are more than 9,000 volunteers serving in 75 countries around the world.

For the second consecutive year, Missoula, Mont., topped the list of metropolitan areas that led the nation in per capita Peace Corps volunteer rankings (14.7/100k residents). Ithaca, N.Y., (12.8/100k residents); and Fort Collins, Colo., (11.4/100k residents) metropolitan areas followed in that category.

The New York-Northern New Jersey-Long Island metropolitan area produced the greatest number of volunteers (393), followed by the Washington-Arlington-Alexandria (372) and the Los Angeles-Long Beach-Santa Ana (367) metropolitan areas.

The Peace Corps nine regional recruiting offices across the United States work to recruit and provide information and guidance to prospective volunteers. Applicants are encouraged to apply for Peace Corps service one year in advance of their targeted departure date. Americans with backgrounds in agriculture, environment, teaching English as a second language, and other technical or language skills related to Peace Corps assignment areas are encouraged to apply.

A full list of top volunteer producing states can be found here.

Following are the top 10 volunteer producing states and metropolitan areas:

2011 Top Ten States (total volunteers):
1. California (1,202)
2. New York (490)
3. Texas (424)
4. Illinois (397)
5. Pennsylvania (390)
6. Washington (372)
7. Virginia (359)
8. Florida (356)
9. Michigan (336)
10. Ohio (332)

2011 Top Ten States per capita (volunteers per 100,000 residents):
1. District of Columbia (8.4)
2. Vermont (7.5)
3. Oregon (7.2)
4. Montana (6.8)
5. New Hampshire (6.7)
6. Colorado (5.9)
7. Washington (5.5)
8. Maine (5.2)
9. Minnesota (4.9)
10. Virginia (4.5)

2011 Top Ten Metropolitan Areas (total volunteers):
1. New York-Northern New Jersey-Long Island (393)
2. Washington-Arlington-Alexandria (372)
3. Los Angeles-Long Beach-Santa Ana (367)
4. Chicago-Naperville-Joliet (316)
5. Boston-Cambridge-Quincy (241)
6. San Francisco-Oakland-Fremont (206)
7. Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue (196)
8. Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington (184)
9. Philadelphia-Camden-Wilmington (183)
10. Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Marietta (161)

2011 Top Ten Metropolitan Areas per capita (volunteers per 100,000 residents):
1. Missoula, Mont. (14.7)
2. Ithaca, N.Y. (12.8)
3. Fort Collins-Loveland, Colo. (11.4)
4. Eugene-Springfield, Ore. (10.3)
5. Boulder, Colo. (10.2)
Charlottesville, Va. (10.2)
Santa Fe, N.M. (10.2)
6. Lebanon, N.H.- Vt. (9.9)
7. Bremerton-Silverdale, Wash. (9.1)
8. Gainesville, Fla. (8.8)
9. Roseburg, Ore. (8.7)
10. Pittsfield, Mass. (8.5)

A list of 2010 top Peace Corps volunteer producing states and metropolitan areas can be found here.

About the Peace Corps: President John F. Kennedy established the Peace Corps on March 1, 1961, by executive order. Throughout 2011, Peace Corps is commemorating 50 years of promoting peace and friendship around the world. Historically, more than 200,000 Americans have served with the Peace Corps to promote a better understanding between Americans and the people of 139 host countries. Today, 9,095 volunteers are working with local communities in 75 host countries. Peace Corps volunteers must be U.S. citizens and at least 18 years of age. Peace Corps service is a 27-month commitment. Visit for more information.

* Peace Corps data are current as of September 30, 2011. The metropolitan area data used to determine Peace Corps rankings is 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 applications.

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