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Switzerland a nation of volunteers: Survey
30 May 2005

Bern: A research conducted by the Swiss Labour Force Survey (SLFS) in 2004 revealed that 1.5 million Swiss regularly volunteer.

The survey, published by the Federal Statistics Office, says that a typical volunteer is 40 to 54 years, educated, and spends half a day a week helping out charities, religious institutions and sports clubs.

In addition, the survey reveals that volunteer work are provided mostly by women and pensioners. Men are more involved in sports groups (12 per cent), cultural associations (6.2 per cent) and interest groups (5.8 per cent). Three per cent of men are involved as volunteers in local or party politics. Women are more active in sports associations (5.3 per cent), charities (5.1 percent) and religious institutions (4.4 per cent).

In 2000, an estimated 740 million hours were spent in voluntary work and it was worth SFr27 billion (US $22 billion).

The main purpose of the SLFS is to provide information on the structure of the labour force and employment behaviour patterns. For voluntary work, the agency considered two aspects: institutional voluntary work and informal unpaid services (for other parties).

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Read related article: Volunteers play vital role in Swiss society

From: Swiss info