Volunteering is a key contributor to civic engagement and community well-being. Communities and organizations with engaged volunteers are better prepared to respond and recover when emergencies strike. At the same time, volunteers benefit from a sense of social connectedness and purpose.
In 2015, the U.S. Current Population Survey’s Volunteer and Civic Engagement Supplement, as analyzed by the Corporation for National & Community Service, found that 25% of adults and teenagers (ages 16 and up) reported volunteering at any point during the past 12 months. An increase in volunteerism would indicate greater civic engagement—which is key to making health a shared value and encouraging social cohesion.
ADULTS REPORTING VOLUNTEERING IN THE PAST 12 MONTHS
To improve health and well-being, people need to participate in the democratic process on a local and national level. Strong election turnout indicates that individuals feel empowered to take action, are engaged with decision-making, and want to influence change.
According to the Atlas of U.S. Presidential Elections, 55% of the voting-age population voted in the 2016 presidential election. Increased voter participation is one signal of improved civic engagement, which can mean that a community is also ready to address issues contributing to health outcomes where they live.
ELIGIBLE VOTERS PARTICIPATING IN NATIONAL ELECTIONS