Miami is such a messed up area there's probably more than enough opportunities to volunteer than your average place. Yet, the Miami metro area ranks dead last for volunteering in the entire nation. Florida as a whole doesn't do much better, ranking 49 out of the 50 states and District of Columbia. Surprisingly, our older residents are more to blame, and typically volunteer less than the younger generation.
Miami was dead last for percentage of citizens who volunteer when compared to the rest of the nation's 51 biggest metro area in the annual Volunteering in America report. Only 15.9 percent of Miamians volunteered in 2010. The average rate was 25.3 percent, and Miami's apathy is quite distinct. New York City finished second to last, but their rate is a full two percent higher than ours. Yeah, it's pretty dismal.
When we do volunteer we don't give much time either. Miamians averaged 17.8 hours of service in 2010, which ties us for last place with Raleigh, North Carolina.
Surprisingly, it's older Miamians who are bringing our volunteer rate down. Only 9.9 percent of "Older Adults" volunteered in 2010, compared to a national average of 23.7 percent. That put Miami in last place in the category. Miami's baby boomers also came in dead last with a volunteer rate of 18.5 percent compared to a national average of 29.7 percent. Gen-Xers also found themselves dead last in their age group.
Meanwhile, Miami's young adults did a little bit better by ranking 44th. The Millennial volunteer rank was 48th. Neither of those are something to celebrate, but considering the lousy example their elders give them, it's somewhat impressive.
Meanwhile, Florida as a whole ranked 49th, with only 21.3 percent of Floridians volunteering.
Keep Miami New Times Free... Since we started Miami New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Miami, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Miami with no paywalls.