Participation in volunteering and unpaid work

Just over 20% of Europeans take part in voluntary and charitable activities, though there are wide differences between Member States. The highest rates are seen in the Nordic Member States (Denmark, Finland, Sweden) and the lowest rates are in Bulgaria, Greece, Malta, Portugal, Romania and Spain. People with a high level of educational attainment are more likely to be volunteers, as are those who attend religious services regularly. Based on data from the second European Quality of Life Survey (EQLS), conducted by Eurofound in 2007, this report examines the factors underpinning people’s decision to volunteer, the amount of time devoted to volunteering among those who participate and whether participation is associated with greater life satisfaction. The study also looks at unpaid work (which includes caring and housework), the amount of time spent on it and the characteristics of those who do it frequently.

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