Four in 10 of the Dutch do voluntary work

Despite government and council efforts to encourage greater ‘participation’ in society, there has been no increase in the number of people doing voluntary work over the past years.

The government’s socio-cultural think-tank SCP says four out of 10 people do some kind of voluntary work but the total has remained the same for decades.

Most people spend around an hour a week volunteering. They tend to be middle-aged, well-educated and well-paid, white and go to church, the SCP says.

Over 90% of people interviewed by the SCP said they volunteer to help other people, while 30% do it out of religious or political conviction.

The research was carried out in 2012 and 2013 in five areas – Berkellan, Emmen, Peel en Maas, Schouwen Duivenland and Zeist – where local councils say they are trying to stimulate more people to volunteer.

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