SALT LAKE CITY — Utahns’ benevolent reputation continues to be cemented as the state is on an 11-year streak of having the most volunteer hours.
Those in the state volunteered more service hours than any other state in the nation for the eleventh year in a row, according to the Corporation for National & Community Service. Utah was also named the ‘most charitable state’ by WalletHubfor the third straight year.
Utah had a 43 percent volunteerism rate, the national and community service corporation said, which was 18 percent higher than the national average of 25 percent. The monetary value of these service hours was estimated to be $3.8 billion, a hefty amount of money saved thanks to Utah residents’ generosity.
“It is an honor for Utah to once again be recognized as the No. 1 state for volunteerism,” Gov. Gary Herbert said. “The work of our exceptional volunteers reaffirms the greater sense of cooperation and charity that makes our communities strong and saves costs that would otherwise be absorbed by government of the taxpayer.”
As perhaps expected, the majority of volunteer hours were donated to religious organizations, while other volunteer hours were directed towards educational purposes and other social or community services.
The majority of the service hours were dedicated to tutoring and teaching as well as mentoring youth.
WalletHub also named Utah the ‘most charitable state’ for the third year in a row by comparing all 50 states across 13 key metrics and two key dimensions including “Volunteering & Service” and “Charitable Giving”.
“Our data set ranges from ‘volunteer rate’ to ‘percentage of income donated’ to ‘percentage of sheltered homeless,'” WalletHub said.
Utah averaged a total score of 68.62, over 7 points higher than the second ‘most charitable state,’ Minnesota.
Utah also ranked first overall in “Highest Volunteer Rate,” “Highest Percent of Donated Income,” Highest Percent of Population Who Claim to Have Donated Time,” and “Highest Percent of Population Who Claim to Have Donated Money.” It did not, however, break the top five of states with a “Highest Percent of Population Collecting/Distributing Food” and “Most Number of Charities per Capita.”
Based on their analysis, WalletHub also determined red states to be more charitable than blue states (while states were designated red or blue based on how they voted in the 2016 presidential election), with Utah significantly contributing to this analysis.
Last year, Gov. Herbert challenged Utahns to volunteer 10 hours of volunteer work during the next year to boost the volunteer rate from 46 percent to 50 percent.
Though Utah continues to be ranked the most charitable state in the nation, this year’s ranking showed a drop in volunteers and volunteer hours.
“I’m proud of our people and the successes they’re having in contributing to this volunteer effort. I’m proud of the fact that we have a culture that lends itself to helping your neighbor,” Herbert said last year. “Let’s see if we can’t lengthen our strides and do better.”