South Dakota volunteer rates rank in the top 10 nationwide

South Dakotans ranked 7th in the country for overall volunteer rates, according to a newly released federal study.

The annual Volunteering and Civic Life in America study, released today by the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) and the National Conference on Citizenship (NCoC), shows that service to others continues to be a priority for South Dakotans and millions of other Americans. Nationwide last year, one in four Americans volunteered through an organization and two-thirds helped their neighbors.

The study ranked South Dakota 7th for the second year in a row for overall volunteer rates, but South Dakota also continues to rank high in the nation for the volunteer rates of Older Adult (4th), Baby Boomers (4th), Veterans (5th), and parent volunteering (9th).

“With Volunteer Centers in the Sioux Empire and Black Hills, we are excited to see this study come out each year,” said Susie Ryks, the Volunteer Services Director for the Helpline Center. “We are encouraged by the study and where South Dakota ranks in comparison to other states.”

The study also highlighted the following volunteering and civic engagement trends for South Dakota.

  • 34.7% of residents volunteer, ranking them 7th among the 50 states and Washington, DC.
  • 219,290 volunteers
  • 21.5 million hours of service
  • $483.5 million of service contributed
  • 34.5 volunteer hours per capita
  • 72.2% of residents engage in “informal volunteering” (for example, doing favors for neighbors)
  • 28.5% frequently discuss politics with family or friends
  • 91.0% frequently eat dinner with other members of the household
  • 46.7% frequently talk with neighbors

“I am excited to spend time with this report over the coming days, and really digest the information it offers,” Ryks said. “The numbers help guide us in our work to engage even more volunteers in service.”

To see the entire report, visit For more information on local volunteerism, dial 2-1-1 or visit


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