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National and Local Area Profiles

Latest findings from the Scottish Household Survey (2018)

Find out how many of us volunteered in Scotland and within each Local Authority area in the last year. We also provide a breakdown of the number of hours of help given and the economic value of this contribution.

Scotland's profile of volunteering

National Average 48%

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.

In 2018 in Scotland, formal and informal volunteers contributed:

361 million hours of help

150m formal volunteering hours and 211m informal volunteering hours (numbers have been rounded to the nearest half a million or 500,000.

5.5 billion to local economy

£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.

The total numbers of hours volunteered along with the economic value of this contribution are calculated the following sources:

  • Participation rates, frequency and intensity data from the Scottish Household Survey
  • The mid year population estimates and the average Scottish weekly wage, from the National Records of Scotland.  

Local area profiles

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.

Click to view local areas:

Aberdeen City



Argyll and Bute


Dumfries and Galloway

Dundee City

East Ayrshire

East Dunbartonshire

East Lothian

East Refrewshire









Na h-Eileanan Siar​

North Ayrshire

North Lanarkshire


Perth and Kinross


Scottish Borders


South Ayrshire

South Lanarkshire


West Dunbartonshire

West Lothian

For local authority calculations the local area population is used as well as the average Scottish weekly wage, within each area.