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Dec-12-2012 10:59printcomments

Peace Corps Announces Top Volunteer States and Metropolitan Areas

Fort Collins-Loveland, Colo., surpasses Missoula, Mont., to lead metro areas per capita... California leads list of top states.

Peace Corps top volunteer states 2012
Peace Corps top volunteer states 2012

(WASHINGTON DC) - In 2012, the metro area comprising Fort Collins and Loveland, Colo., is the leading producer of Peace Corps volunteers per capita with 14.7 per 100,000 residents, ousting the 2011 and 2010 per capita leader, Missoula, Mont. The New York-Northern New Jersey-Long Island metro area produced the greatest number of volunteers with 345 in 2012, followed by the Washington-Arlington-Alexandria area with 338 volunteers and the Los Angeles-Long Beach-Santa Ana area with 331 volunteers.

For the second consecutive year, the District of Columbia, Vermont and Oregon top the list of volunteer-producing states per capita, with 8.1, 7.2 and 6.4 volunteers per capita, respectively; while the greatest number of volunteers call California, New York and Texas home with 1,084, 448 and 381 volunteers, respectively.

“As numerous states and metro areas vie for the top spot for producing Peace Corps volunteers, one fact remains the same: Peace Corps volunteers come from diverse areas across the United States,” said Peace Corps Acting Director Carrie Hessler-Radelet upon announcing the Top States and Metropolitan Areas on Wednesday. “Whether someone’s interest in international service started with agricultural work on a farm in the Midwest or as an educator in a big city, Americans can enhance their skills, become global citizens and launch a career through Peace Corps service.” Currently, more than 8,000 volunteers are working with communities in 76 host countries on projects related to agriculture, community economic development, education, environment, health and youth development.

Peace Corps is a life-defining leadership experience for Americans who are prepared for the challenge of public service overseas. Volunteers return home as global citizens, with cross-cultural, leadership, language, teaching and community development skills that position them for advanced education and professional opportunities in today’s global job market. The Peace Corps’ eight regional recruiting offices across the United States work to recruit and provide information to prospective volunteers. Applicants are encouraged to apply for Peace Corps service one year in advance of their target departure date.

Following are the Top 10 Volunteer-Producing States and Metropolitan Areas:

2012 Top Ten States (total volunteers):
1. California (1,084)
2. New York (448)
3. Texas (381)
4. Washington (378)
5. Illinois (352)
6. Florida (351)
7. Pennsylvania (330)
8. Michigan (316)
9. Virginia (303)
10. Ohio (291)

2012 Top Ten States Per Capita (volunteers per 100,000 residents):
1. District of Columbia (8.1)
2. Vermont (7.2)
3. Oregon (6.4)
4. Washington (5.6)
4. New Hampshire (5.6)
6. Colorado (5.4)
7. Montana (4.9)
8. Maine (4.4)
8. Minnesota (4.4)
10. Idaho (4.0)

2012 Top Ten Metropolitan Areas (total volunteers):
1. New York-Northern New Jersey-Long Island (345)
2. Washington-Arlington-Alexandria (338)
3. Los Angeles-Long Beach-Santa Ana (331)
4. Chicago-Naperville-Joliet (266)
5. Boston-Cambridge-Quincy (205)
6. San Francisco-Oakland-Fremont (204)
7. Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue (200)
8. Philadelphia-Camden-Wilmington (170)
9. Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington (161)
10. Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Marietta (149)

2012 Top Ten Metropolitan Areas Per Capita (volunteers per 100,000 residents):
1. Fort Collins-Loveland, Colo. (14.7)
2. Missoula, Mont. (11.0)
3. Ithaca, N.Y. (10.8)
4. Ann Arbor, Mich. (9.9)
5. Olympia, Wash. (9.5)
6. Eugene-Springfield, Ore. (9.1)
7. Madison, Wis. (9.0)
8. Bremerton-Silverdale, Wash. (8.8)
9. Rochester, Minn. (8.6)
9. Lebanon, N.H.- Vt. (8.6)

A list of 2011 top Peace Corps volunteer-producing states and metropolitan areas can be found here . To view a list of volunteer numbers from all 50 states, click here.

States Infographic (Print PDF)
States Infographic (Web PDF)
States Infographic (JPG)

Metro Areas Infographic (Print PDF)
Metro Areas Infographic (Web PDF)
Metro Areas Infographic (JPG)

About the Peace Corps: Since President John F. Kennedy established the Peace Corps by executive order on March 1, 1961, more than 210,000 Americans have served in 139 host countries. Today, 8,073 volunteers are working with local communities in 76 host countries in agriculture, community economic development, education, environment, health and youth in development. Peace Corps volunteers must be U.S. citizens and at least 18 years of age. Peace Corps service is a 27-month commitment and the agency’s mission is to promote world peace and friendship and a better understanding between Americans and people of other countries. Visit for more information.


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Sean Flynn was a photojournalist in Vietnam, taken captive in 1970 in Cambodia and never seen again.

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