Peace Corps: D.C. metro area among top volunteer producers

WASHINGTON – If you’ve ever through about joining the Peace Corps, you’re not alone in the D.C. area.

The D.C. metropolitan area ranked among the top volunteer producers in 2013 for the Peace Corp, according to data the organization released Wednesday.

The D.C. region — which includes the District and parts of Virginia, Maryland and West Virginia — ranked No. 2 on a list of the Peace Corp’s top volunteer-producing metro areas in 2013. The New York City metro area ranked No. 1 with 330 volunteers compared to the D.C. area’s 304 volunteers.

“Americans from all across our great country and all walks of life are drawn to the Peace Corps by a spirit of service and a passion for helping others,” Peace Corps Acting Director Carrie Hessler-Radelet said in a news release.

“No matter where they start their journey, through their experience Peace Corps volunteers show the world the compassion, tolerance and dedication to service that has always characterized the American people.”

The Peace Corps collected the data through September 2013 and used the U.S. Census Bureau “Metropolitan and Micropolitan Statistical Area” data to determine the regions. Volunteers self-report their home city and state on their Peace Corps application.

Below is a list of the top 10 metro areas for Peace Corps volunteers (total volunteers):

  1. New York-Northern New Jersey-Long Island, NY-NJ-PA (330)
  2. Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV (304)
  3. Los Angeles-Long Beach-Santa Ana, CA (296)
  4. Chicago-Joliet-Naperville, IL-IN-WI (239)
  5. Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, WA (180)
  6. San Francisco-Oakland-Fremont, CA (173)
  7. Boston-Cambridge-Quincy, MA-NH (170)
  8. Philadelphia-Camden-Wilmington, PA-NJ-DE-MD (160)
  9. Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington, MN-WI (150)
  10. Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Marietta, GA (142)

The D.C. metro area’s ranking did not change from last year’s list of top Peace Corps volunteers. In 2012, 338 volunteers helped the region rank No. 2 — again behind the New York City metro area with 345 volunteers.

When it came to specific states’ contributions to the Peace Corps, Virginia ranked among the top 10 with 267 volunteers in 2013. While Maryland didn’t make the top 10, there are 199 volunteers from the Old Line State currently serving in the Peace Corps.

Below is a list of the top 10 Peace Corps volunteer-producing states (total volunteers):

  1. California (973)
  2. New York (420)
  3. Texas (342)
  4. Washington (328)
  5. Florida (309)
  6. Illinois (300)
  7. Ohio (290)
  8. Pennsylvania (284)
  9. Michigan (271)
  10. Virginia (267)

The Peace Corps’ volunteer projects relate to agriculture, economic development, education, environment, health and youth development.

The Peace Corps was established 52 years ago by President John F. Kennedy to promote service and understanding around the world.

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