Vermont Ranks As Peace Corps’ Top Volunteer-Producing State in 2016

WASHINGTON. D.C., Dec. 20, 2016 – Today, Peace Corps announced that Vermont ranks No.1 among states with the highest number of Peace Corps volunteers per capita for the fourth consecutive year. Fifty-two (52) volunteers from the Green Mountain State are currently serving worldwide, with a ratio of 8.3 volunteers for every 100,000 residents, the highest per capita rate in the nation. Meanwhile, the Burlington-South Burlington area ranks No. 2 among metropolitan areas with the highest number of volunteers per capita, with 18 area residents currently serving overseas. It has ranked in the top five volunteer-producing metropolitan areas per capita since 2013.

“During my time leading the Peace Corps, I have seen the tremendous impact that volunteers have when they share their unique hometown perspectives with the communities they serve,” said Director Carrie Hessler-Radelet. “Volunteers represent our nation’s rich diversity by coming from all corners of the U.S. They are able to share our nation’s rich cultural heritage with communities around the world, leaving a legacy of peace and friendship that is timeless.”

Vermont volunteers are among the more than 225,000 Americans who have served around the world as agriculture, community economic development, education, environment, health and youth in development volunteers since 1961. Since the Peace Corps was established, 1,556 Vermonters have served overseas.

In addition, the University of Vermont, Saint Michael’s College, and Middlebury College all ranked among the Top Volunteer-Producing Colleges and Universities earlier this year.

“I am a fifth generation Vermonter. I have lived and farmed with my family in the Northeast Kingdom of Vermont for my entire life,” said Mikaela Perry, an Orleans resident and Middlebury College graduate who is currently serving as an agriculture volunteer in Tanzania. “Although the transition to Tanzania was a difficult process, like any transition abroad, it was eased because my village reminds me so much of Vermont. It is cold, there are cows everywhere, the stars are amazing, everyone is friendly and says hello in passing, and there is a strong sense of community, so it was easy for me to feel at home.

“Through the transition I have realized how proud I am to be a Vermonter, and nothing has made me more proud of my Vermont heritage and my home state than life in rural Africa,” Perry added.

This year’s rankings follow the launch of a refreshed Peace Corps brand platform that embraces a digitally focused communications approach to make the agency more accessible to all audiences across the United States through the platforms they already use. Sweeping reforms in the application and recruitment system ensure that Peace Corps continues to build a volunteer corps of Americans from all walks of life. Applicants will now find a simplified, more personal application process, and can learn more by visiting the Peace Corps website and connecting with a recruiter.

Below find the nation’s top 10 volunteer-producing states and metropolitan areas for 2016. View the list of volunteer numbers from all 50 states here.

2016 Top States – Per Capita (# of volunteers per 100,000 residents)
1. Vermont – 8.3
2. District of Columbia – 8.2
3. Montana – 5.0
4. Washington – 4.5
5. Minnesota – 4.3
5. Alaska – 4.3
7. Maryland – 4.0
8. Virginia – 3.9
8. Colorado – 3.9
8. Oregon – 3.9
8. Maine – 3.9
8. Rhode Island – 3.9

2016 Top States – Total Volunteers
1. California – 916
2. New York – 449
3. Virginia – 328
4. Washington – 317
5. Florida – 313
6. Illinois – 301
7. Pennsylvania – 300
8. Texas – 277
9. Maryland – 241
10. Michigan – 239

2016 Top Metropolitan Areas – Per Capita (# of volunteers per 100,000 residents)
1. Missoula, MT – 12.3
2. Burlington-South Burlington, VT – 8.3
3. Olympia, WA – 8.2
4. Santa Fe, NM – 6.7
5. Idaho Falls, ID – 6.4
6. Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV – 6.3
6. Boulder, CO – 6.3
8. Madison, WI – 6.2
8. Bremerton-Silverdale, WA – 6.2
10. East Stroudsburg, PA – 6.0
10. Iowa City, IA – 6.0

2016 Top Metropolitan Areas – Total Volunteers
1. Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV – 386
2. New York-Northern New Jersey-Long Island, NY-NJ-PA – 379
3. Los Angeles-Long Beach-Santa Ana, CA – 283
4. Chicago-Joliet-Naperville, IL-IN-WI – 245
5. Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington, MN-WI – 180
6. Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, WA – 178
7. Boston-Cambridge-Quincy, MA-NH – 176
8. Philadelphia-Camden-Wilmington, PA-NJ-DE-MD – 154
9. Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Marietta, GA – 140
10. San Francisco-Oakland-Fremont, CA – 136

*Peace Corps data current as of September 30, 2016. 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.

Since President John F. Kennedy established the Peace Corps in 1961, more than 225,000 Americans have served in 140 countries.

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