Peace Corps Announces Top Volunteer States

November 6, 2007

The United States Sends More Peace Corps Volunteers Overseas in 2007

WASHINGTON, D.C., November 6, 2007 - Peace Corps Volunteers are emerging from almost every geographical area of the U.S. to serve in 74 countries around the world. This increasing interest in Peace Corps' mission of service has led to an overall rise in state residents becoming Volunteers.

"The Peace Corps has been a success because Volunteers bring such diverse experiences to their service. Volunteers come from every corner of the United States, yet they all share a commitment to service in communities across the globe," said Peace Corps Director Ron Tschetter.

This year, Illinois had the highest overall increase in number of Volunteers, as 48 more residents are serving in the Peace Corps since 2006. Today, there are 367 Volunteers from Illinois serving around the globe.

California continues to produce the greatest number of Peace Corps Volunteers annually, with 943 Volunteers currently in service. This represents 11.7 percent of the total number of Peace Corps Volunteers currently serving, the highest percent of all states. New York ranked second, after California, with Volunteers from this state representing 5.3 percent of all Volunteers.

The District of Columbia maintains the highest per capita numbers of Volunteers in the field, as there are 2.2 Volunteers out of every 25,000 D.C. residents. Over 50 D.C. residents are currently serving in the Peace Corps. Vermont represents the second highest per capita number of Volunteers.

Hawaii experienced a remarkable 110 percent change when the number of Peace Corps Volunteers currently serving more than doubled from just 10 in 2006 to 21 in 2007. Arkansas closely followed with a 72.7 percent increase, from 22 Volunteers in 2006 to 38 Volunteers this year. Utah and New Mexico closely followed, each experiencing between 20 and 30 percent increases of Volunteers.

Other states that experienced a remarkable double-digit increase in Volunteers this year include: Florida, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio, Oregon, Texas, Virginia, Utah, Washington, and Wisconsin.

To view a list of all these home state statistics, please visit the Media Resources section of the Peace Corps website.

The Peace Corps is celebrating a 46-year legacy of service at home and abroad. Currently there are more than 8,000 Volunteers abroad, a 37-year high for Volunteers in the field. Since 1961, more than 190,000 Volunteers have helped promote a better understanding between Americans and the people of the 139 countries where Volunteers 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.

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