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Learn tips and hints to use a variety of electronic and technical equipment to enhance work with volunteers.

~ August 2009 ~


Demographics and the Internet

Engaging volunteers in the first decade of the 21st century means knowing the demographics.  What does the population look like?  What populations should I target for recruitment purposes?  The Internet is a treasure trove of information.  Canada completed a census in 2006 and the data is available at several sites.  The US conducts its census every 10 years.  What exists for the US now are samples from smaller populations.  Here is a sample of what can be found with out much difficulty on what the “volunteer pool” might look like in the next few years.  Gathering this information would be a great job for a virtual volunteer.  If the data were provided in “chart” form it can be used by a volunteer recruiting team to organize the outreach for volunteers. 

Canadian demographics:

  • An aging population with those 55 to 64 years being the fastest growing demographic;
  • one in seven Canadians are over the age of 65. 
  • In the senior age categories, 65+ increased 12%, 80+ increased 25% and 100 increased 20%. 
  • Life expectancy for men is 77.7 years; for women 82.5 years. 
  • These age demographics will have major implications for health care and a declining skilled work force.  This information is available at the Web site listed below.


Here is an example of statistics for the US from the site listed below.  VT picked the state of Iowa what could be learned about its population


(2008 est.)

Population 3,002,555 304,059,724
Persons over 65 (%) 14.7% 12.6%
Persons over 25 with bachelor's degree (%) 21.2% 24.4%

Knowing your local, regional, state or provincial numbers can help in planning recruiting campaigns.  No sense spending oodles of money on seniors if they are only 2% of the population in your area; or maybe it does make sense because you are in a large urban area and 2% is lots of people.  But, it all starts with knowing the numbers. 


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