More than one in 10 adults in Portugal gives their time to volunteer activities, Statistics Portugal reports.
The volunteer rate of people that participated in a volunteer activity either through an organization or directly for other individuals is estimated to be 11.5% of residents aged 15 or older—about 1,040,000 people. This represents the equivalent of approximately 4% of the total hours worked in Portugal, or about 1% of GDP.
51.6% of these individuals participated in a volunteer activity through an organization, of which about 90% were social economy organizations. This corresponds to about 40% of the total hours worked in this kind of organization, which means that volunteer work represents a very substantial resource for the sustainability of the Portuguese social economy.
These data were gathered via a pilot Survey on Volunteer Work 2012. This pilot survey was conducted as an annex to the Labour Force Survey on the 3rd quarter of 2012 as part of Statistics Portugal’s development of the satellite account on the social economy, and was developed based on the principles outlined in the ILO Manual on Measurement of Volunteer Work. However due to space and cost limitations it was not possible to include all of the questions encouraged by the Manual. Because important prompts were not included, it is likely that they survey underrepresents the number of volunteers in Portugal.
Despite its limitations, the survey gathered key variables for characterizing volunteer work in Portugal, namely: number of volunteers, their sociodemographic characteristics, the institutional context of the volunteer work, the task type and number of hours spent volunteering.
The publication of these data is also important because it represents the outcome of a cooperative effort between statistics officials and the volunteer community in Portugal. The Portuguese Confederation of Volunteering (CPV) has set up a working group to pursue the measurement of volunteering in Portugal as part of the European Volunteer Measurement Project. This working group is composed of representatives of civil society, such as CPV, Eugénio de Almeida Foundation and CNE–Catholic Scouts, the Catholic University–Porto, and the Polytechnic Institute of Setúbal (partners of CPV), as well as State agencies, including Statistics Portugal, the National Council for the Promotion of Volunteering, and the Studies and Planning Office/Ministry of Solidarity. A draft of the work plan is under review and will be presented to all members of the working group in early June.
Learn more about this important pilot study and to explore the data in more detail, see the links below.
Portuguese: Data | Press release | Publication
English: Data | Press release
cross-posted from evmp.eu