Current Population Survey Volunteer Supplement Series

Beginning in 2002, the Current Population Survey (CPS) included a volunteer supplement in the month of September that asks questions related to unpaid volunteering activities of household members age fifteen and older. All persons eligible for the labor force items of the basic CPS were also eligible for the volunteer supplement. Proxy responses were allowed if attempts for a self-response were unsuccessful.

The CPS, administered monthly, is a labor force survey providing current estimates of the economic status and activities of the population of the United States. Specifically, the CPS provides estimates of total employment (both farm and nonfarm), nonfarm self-employed persons, domestics, and unpaid helpers in nonfarm family enterprises, wage and salaried employees, and estimates of total unemployment.

The supplement contained questions about the household member's participation in volunteer service from September 1 of the year prior to the date of the interview. Respondents who reported volunteering in the past year were asked about the type of organizations they have volunteered for, how much time they have dedicated to volunteering activities, what type of activities they have been engaged in, how the respondent first become involved with the main organization they volunteered for, whether volunteering took place in a foreign country, and involvement in their community. Non-volunteers were asked about what factors might encourage them to volunteer in the future and the reason why they do not volunteer. Demographic variables include age, sex, race, Hispanic origin, marital status, veteran status, educational attainment, occupation, and income.

See also the Current Population Survey Series.