Utah No.1 in the nation for volunteering

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Top 5 states for volunteer rate:
1. Utah
2. Iowa
3. Minnesota
4. Nebraska
5. Alaska

SALT LAKE CITY -- Despite difficult economic times, the number of Americans volunteering in their communities jumped by 1.6 million last year, the largest increase in six years, according to a report released Tuesday by the Corporation for National and Community Service.

Top 5 mid-size cities for volunteer rate:
1. Provo, UT
2. Iowa City, IA
3. Ogden, UT
4. Fort Collins, CO
5. Madison, WI

The corporation's annual Volunteering in America report found that 63.4 million Americans volunteered through a formal organization last year, giving more than 8.1 billion hours of volunteer service worth an estimated $169 billion.

Utah was the highest volunteering state in the nation for the fifth year in a row.

Utah has an average annual volunteer rate of 44.2 percent, with 856,000 volunteers serving 168.4 million per year.

The top four activities were tutor/teach, mentor youth, general labor and collect/distribute food.

Top 5 large cities for volunteer rate:
1. Minneapolis-St. Paul, MN
2. Portland, OR
3. Salt Lake City, UT
4. Seattle, Wa
5. Oklahoma City, OK

Lt. Gov. Greg Bell said, "Volunteers clearly become the connective tissue holding together much of the safety net which we must provide our vulnerable and needful citizens."

New York, which has a much larger population, came in last with a 19 percent rate.

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