Last updated 14 May 2019 - see all updates
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1. Main facts and figures
- overall, in 2017/18, 22% of people aged 16 and over in England took part in formal volunteering at least once a month, the same percentage as the previous year (2016/17)
- the percentages of people saying they took part in formal volunteering were broadly similar across ethnic groups, ranging from 18% to 24% – this is in contrast to 2016/17, when people from the Asian and Mixed ethnic groups were less likely than the other ethnic groups to take part in volunteering
The ethnic categories used in this data
Respondents were asked to indicate their ethnicity from a choice of 18 categories.
For this data, the number of people surveyed (the ‘sample size’) was too small to draw any firm conclusions about these specific ethnic categories. Therefore, the data here is broken down into the following 5 broad groups:
2. By ethnicity
|Ethnicity||2016/17 %||2016/17 Number of respondents||2017/18 %||2017/18 Number of respondents|
Summary of Volunteering By ethnicity Summary
The Community Life Survey consists of an online or paper questionnaire, which was completed by 10,217 individuals in 2017/18.
The survey has deliberately surveyed more households from ethnic minority groups, (excluding White ethnic minorities). This is because the smaller populations of these groups would otherwise give less reliable results.
The 2016/17 and 2017/18 survey samples are large enough for the results to be broken down by 5 broad ethnic groups. Before 2016/17, interviews were conducted face to face and the sample size was smaller. This meant it was only possible to compare White people with those from all other ethnic groups combined.
In the 2014/15 and 2015/16 survey years, sample sizes ranged from around 2,000 to 3,000 respondents, which was too small for reliable conclusions about differences between the White and Other ethnic groups. For these reasons, results for 2016/17 onwards are not compared with those from 2014/15 to 2015/16.
For earlier years, results are available for reference purposes in the published tables in the series of releases for the Community Life Survey.
Weighting is used to adjust the results of a survey to make them representative of the population and improve their accuracy.
For example, a survey which contains 25% females and 75% males will not accurately reflect the views of the general population, which we know is around 50% male and 50% female.
Statisticians rebalance or ‘weight’ the survey results to more accurately represent the general population. This helps to make them more reliable.
Survey weights are usually applied to make sure the survey sample has broadly the same gender, age, ethnic and geographic make up as the general population. In this case they also took account of the over-sampling in any national estimates.
Suppression rules and disclosure control
Results are not published when based on fewer than 30 respondents. All the results presented here are based on sample sizes of more than 100 respondents.
Estimates in the charts and tables are given to the nearest percentage.
4. Data sources
Type of data
Type of statistic
Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
Purpose of data source
The Community Life Survey tracks developments in areas that are important to encouraging social action and empowering communities.
- volunteering and charitable giving
- neighbourhood (views about the local area, community cohesion and belonging)
- civic engagement and social action
5. Download the data
This file contains the following: ethnicity, time, value, sample size