Young people who have immigrated to the United States or whose parents were born outside the U.S. are far less likely to volunteer than youth of U.S.-born parents, according to a new CIRCLE Fact Sheet. This cohort represents the fastest growing portion of the youth population. 22 percent of youth with U.S.-born parents and 21 percent of U.S.-born youth with one foreign-born parent volunteer. Only 9 percent of young people born outside of the U.S. and 14 percent of youth with both parents born outside of the U.S. volunteer.
Education had a strong impact on volunteer rates. Youth of immigrant origin who were enrolled in any kind of educational institution were almost twice as likely to volunteer as their non-enrolled peers, suggesting that education provides relevant knowledge and skills as well as opportunities to volunteer. Furthermore, the higher the level of education, the greater the volunteer rate, as twenty percent of youth of immigrant origin with a college degree volunteered, while only five percent with less than a high school diploma volunteered. Still, the difference in educational attainment between immigrants and non-immigrants does not explain the whole volunteering gap.