Notes on the data: Community strengths
Persons aged 15 years and over who participated in voluntary work for an organisation or group, 2016 (ABS Census data)
Policy context: Volunteering can improve the health and wellbeing of individual volunteers by enhancing support networks, self-esteem and quality of life. The most recent estimate of the value of voluntary work in Australia was estimated at $43 billion in 2006. In 2014, 5.8 million people (31% of Australian adults) participated in voluntary work, contributing 743 million hours to the community over the previous year. However, rates of formal volunteering in Australia dropped from 34% of adults in 2010 .
In the year before the 2016 Census, 19.0% of the population reported undertaking voluntary work through an organisation or a group, up from 17.8% in 2011 . These data are useful in the planning of local facilities and services, and in understanding the way individuals and families balance paid work with other important aspects of their lives, such as community commitments.
- Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS). Discussion Paper: Information needs for Volunteering data. (ABS Cat. no. 4159.0.55.004). Canberra: ABS; 2017 Apr, accessed 11 August 2017. Available from: http://www.abs.gov.au/ausstats/abs@.nsf/Lookup/4159.0.55.004main+features1April+2017
- ABS. 2016 Census QuickStats. Canberra: ABS; 2017 Jan, accessed 11 August 2017. Available from: http://www.censusdata.abs.gov.au/census_services/getproduct/census/2016/quickstat/036
Notes: The variable 'Voluntary work for an organisation or group' records people who spent time doing unpaid voluntary work through an organisation or group in the twelve months prior to Census night.
The numerator excludes the 8.2% of the population aged 15 years and over whose participation in voluntary work was not stated: however, these records are included in the denominator.
Geography: Data available by Population Health Area, Local Government Area, Primary Health Network, Quintile of socioeconomic disadvantage of area and Remoteness Area
Numerator: Persons aged 15 years and over who participated in voluntary work for an organisation or group
Denominator: Population aged 15 years and over
Detail of analysis: Percent
Source: Compiled by PHIDU based on the ABS Census of Population and Housing, August 2016