Scotland's profile of volunteering

Latest findings from the Scottish Household Survey (2018)

Volunteering - formally and informally

48% of adults in Scotland have volunteered - that's over 2.17 million people. This overall figure combines those who've volunteered formally (providing unpaid help through an organisation or group) with those who've volunteered informally (helping someone who is not a friend or relative) in the last year. 

Adults Base: All = 9,700

In 2018 in Scotland, formal and informal volunteers contributed:


of help providing

£5.5 BILLION(b)

to the local economy

 150m formal volunteering hours and 211m informal volunteering hours (numbers have been rounded to the nearest half a million or 500,000.
(b) £2.3bn from formal volunteering and £3.2bn from informal volunteering (numbers have been rounded to the nearest million or 1,000,000.

Note: Data on the economic value of volunteering is only available on a 2 year basis.

Scottish Household Survey Data: Due to the small sample sizes for each local authority there can be large variability in SHS volunteering data year-on-year. Care should therefore be taken in the use and interpretation of participation rates, hours’ volunteered and economic values.