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Volunteering in France

Friday, July 10, 2020  
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In France, empirical data on volunteering from national surveys of individuals are scarce. To make up for this lack of data, a survey was designed by the Centre de recherche sur les associations and it was carried out in June 2017 by the polling company CSA. The investigations conducted on the basis of this survey provide detailed information on French volunteering carried out in organizations. For example, among the population aged 18 and over, the estimated rate of participation in formal voluntary work (taking all fields of activity into account) is 43%. The highest participation rate among the various fields of activity is observed in the field of the defence of rights, causes and interests. It precedes the field of social, humanitarian and charitable action, which is followed in declining order by leisure activities, sports and arts and culture.

If the standard full-time equivalent job (FTE) is taken as the unit of measurement, then on the basis of an annual working time of 1,645 hours for an FTE, the total volume of voluntary work in 2017 is estimated to be between 1,320,000 and 1,460,000 FTEs. However, this volume is concentrated among a minority of volunteers. Only one third of volunteers account for more than 80% of the volume of voluntary work. A comparison with the results from a previous survey conducted in 2002 by INSEE, the French national statistical service, suggests that participation in voluntary work has increased in France over the past two decades.

The main results are available online:


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