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01/15/2020 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 01/15/2020 10:38

Peace Corps announces 2019 top volunteer-producing states

January 15, 2020

District of Columbia holds No. 1 spot for third year in a row; Massachusetts enters top ten for first time.

WASHINGTON -Peace Corps released today its 2019 rankings of the top volunteer-producing states and metropolitan areas across the United States.

'I commend the community leaders from these top states for their continued support of the Peace Corps,' said Peace Corps Director Jody Olsen. 'Volunteers make a powerful impact when they share their unique hometown perspectives with the communities they serve abroad. Serving with this agency is an opportunity for all Americans to develop the skills they need in a global world.'

The four lists are: Top Volunteer-producing States per Capita; Top Volunteer-producing States Overall; Top Volunteer-producing Metropolitan Areas per Capita; and Top Volunteer-producing Metropolitan Areas Overall.

2019 Top States - Per Capita (# of volunteers per 100,000 residents)

1) District of Columbia - 18.2

2) Vermont - 8.1

3) Montana - 5.1

4) Virginia - 4.5

5) Maryland - 4.3

6) Oregon - 4.2

7) New Hampshire - 4.1

7) Colorado - 4.1

8) Maine - 3.8

9) Washington - 3.6

9) Massachusetts - 3.6

10) Minnesota - 3.5

The nation's capital is the largest producer of volunteers per capita, with approximately 18 volunteers per 100,000 citizens, a 23% increase from 2018. Vermont is No. 2 for the third year in a row and for the sixth consecutive year Montana comes in at No. 3 on the per capita list. Massachusetts has made this list for the first time ever, at No. 9.

2019 Top States - Total Volunteers

1) California - 851

2) New York - 413

3) Virginia - 384

4) Texas - 368

5) Florida - 341

6) Pennsylvania - 293

7) Illinois -279

8) Washington - 271

9) Maryland - 259

10) Massachusetts - 247

For over a decade California and New York have ranked No.1 and No. 2, respectively, on the Top States Overall list. In 2019, California sent 851 citizens to serve in the Peace Corps, 15 more than in 2018.

2019 Top Metropolitan Areas - Per Capita (# of volunteers per 100,000 residents)

1) Charlottesville, VA - 16.5

2) Missoula, MT - 13.7

3) Fort Collins, CO - 13.3

4) Burlington-South Burlington, VT - 11.8

4) Ithaca, NY - 11.8

5) Bellingham, WA -10.9

6) Blacksburg-Christiansburg-Radford, VA - 10.7

7) Bloomington, IN - 10.0

8) Columbia, MO - 9.8

9) State College, PA - 9.7

9) Eureka-Arcata-Fortuna, CA - 9.7

10) Harrisonburg, VA - 9.6

10) Ann Arbor, MI -9.6

Although it never ranked before 2018, Charlottesville, VA, again takes the No. 1 spot for top volunteer-producing metropolitan areas per capita, Charlottesville sent 36 citizens to service in 2019, 10 more than in 2018.

2019 Top Metropolitan Areas - Total Volunteers

1) Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV - 472

2) New York-Newark-Jersey City, NY-NJ-PA - 217

3) Chicago-Naperville-Elgin, IL-IN-WI - 212

4) Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington, MN-WI - 155

5) Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Roswell, GA - 149

6) Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim, CA - 140

7) Portland-Vancouver-Hillsboro, OR-WA - 117

8) Denver-Aurora-Lakewood, CO - 109

9) San Diego-Carlsbad, CA - ­106

10) Boston-Cambridge-Newton, MA-NH - 103

For the first time in three years, the Washington-Arlington-Alexandria area takes the No. 1 spot overall for top volunteer-producing metropolitan areas.

Virginia and Washington appear on all four lists, with Virginia claiming a top five spot on each.

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.

*Peace Corps data current as of September 30, 2019. 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 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, the 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 235,000 Americans of all ages have served in 141 countries worldwide. For more information, visit peacecorps.gov and follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.