Norway tops in volunteerism

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Nearly half of all Norwegians participate in some form of volunteer work, ranking Norway as the third-most volunteer-oriented country in Europe, according to a new study.

Only people in Sweden and The Netherlands do more volunteer work than Norwegians, even though the overall rate of volunteerism in Norway has declined from 58 percent to 48 percent since 2004. The number of hours they spend, however, boosted their standing.

The study by the state statistics bureau SSB involved interviews with nearly 1,600 Norwegians aged 16 to 79 and covered volunteer work from 1997 to 2009.

The part-time volunteer work, as everything from refugee guides to aides for senior citizens, amounted to 114,921 full-time-equivalent positions last year.

The study found that most volunteers are highly educated with solid resources, while only 28 percent of those receiving welfare did any volunteer work. Fully 54 percent of university graduates interviewed did volunteer work, while 34 percent of those without college degrees were active as volunteers.

Views and News staff