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Ithaca ranks No. 4 of Peace Corps’ top volunteer-producing metro areas in 2019

WASHINGTON – Today, Peace Corps announced that Ithaca, New York ranks No. 4 among metropolitan areas with the highest number of Peace Corps volunteers per capita. There are 12 volunteers from Ithaca currently serving worldwide.

Ithaca has consistently ranked among the top volunteer-producing metropolitan areas for the past decade. New York State ranks No. 2 among states with the highest number of Peace Corps volunteers, with 413 New Yorkers currently serving and 14,494 residents who have served since the agency was founded in 1961. Ithaca volunteers are among the more than 240,000 Americans who have served around the world in areas such as agriculture, community economic development, education, environment, health and youth development since 1961. 

“The domestic dividend of Peace Corps service cannot be overstated,” said Peace Corps Director Jody K. Olsen. “Across the United States, communities continue to experience the benefits of volunteers returning home with new skills and perspectives. I am grateful to these communities for instilling a sense of service in their citizens.”

Anna Doyle lived in Ithaca while she earned her undergraduate and graduate degrees at Cornell University in environmental engineering. She is now serving in Mexico as an environmental education volunteer.

“When I first arrived at my site, I found that photos were a great way to connect with my host family and local counterparts,” said Doyle. “Ithaca is of course very different from my rural site in Central Mexico, and just as people at my site are impressed by Ithaca's gorges and forests, my friends and family back home are amazed by the variety of cacti we have at my site. The eco-tourism project at my site has also given me an opportunity to introduce my counterpart at site, who is a local bird-watching guide, to resources from Cornell's Lab of Ornithology and the diversity of birds found in Ithaca.”

Peace Corps is unique among service organizations because volunteers live and work at the community level. Service in the Peace Corps is a life-defining, hands-on leadership experience that offers volunteers the opportunity to travel to the farthest corners of the world and make a lasting difference in the lives of others. Applicants can apply to specific programs by visiting the Peace Corps website and connecting with a recruiter.

Below find the nation’s top volunteer-producing states and metropolitan areas for 2019.

2019 Top Metropolitan Areas – Per Capita (# of volunteers per 100,000 residents)

  1. Charlottesville, VA – 16.5

  2. Missoula, MT – 13.7

  3. Fort Collins, CO – 13.3

  4. [TIED] Burlington-South Burlington, VT – 11.8 & Ithaca, NY – 11.8

  5. Bellingham, WA –10.9

  6. Blacksburg-Christiansburg-Radford, VA – 10.7

  7. Bloomington, IN – 10.0

  8. Columbia, MO – 9.8

  9. [TIED] State College, PA – 9.7 & Eureka-Arcata-Fortuna, CA – 9.7

  10. [TIED] Harrisonburg, VA – 9.6 & Ann Arbor, MI –9.6

2019 Top States – Per Capita (# of volunteers per 100,000 residents)

  1. District of Columbia – 18.2

  2. Vermont – 8.1

  3. Montana – 5.1

  4. Virginia – 4.5

  5. Maryland – 4.3

  6. Oregon – 4.2

  7. [TIED] New Hampshire – 4.1 & Colorado – 4.1

  8. Maine – 3.8

  9. [TIED] Washington – 3.6 & Massachusetts – 3.6

  10. Minnesota – 3.5

2019 Top States – Total Volunteers

  1. California – 851

  2. New York – 413

  3. Virginia – 384

  4. Texas – 368

  5. Florida – 341

  6. Pennsylvania – 293

  7. Illinois –279

  8. Washington – 271

  9. Maryland – 259

  10. Massachusetts – 247

2019 Top Metropolitan Areas – Total Volunteers

  1. Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV – 472

  2. New York-Newark-Jersey City, NY-NJ-PA – 217

  3. Chicago-Naperville-Elgin, IL-IN-WI – 212

  4. Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington, MN-WI – 155

  5. Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Roswell, GA – 149

  6. Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim, CA – 140

  7. Portland-Vancouver-Hillsboro, OR-WA – 117

  8. Denver-Aurora-Lakewood, CO – 109

  9. San Diego-Carlsbad, CA – ­106

  10. Boston-Cambridge-Newton, MA-NH – 103

*Peace Corps data current as of September 30, 2019. The metropolitan area data used to determine Peace Corps’ rankings are derived from the most current U.S. Census Bureau “Metropolitan and Micropolitan Statistical Area” data. Volunteers self-report their home city and state on their Peace Corps application. 

About the Peace Corps: The Peace Corps sends Americans with a passion for service abroad on behalf of the United States to work with communities and create lasting change. Volunteers develop sustainable solutions to address challenges in education, health, community economic development, agriculture, environment and youth development. Through their Peace Corps experience, volunteers gain a unique cultural understanding and a life-long commitment to service that positions them to succeed in today's global economy. Since President John F. Kennedy established the Peace Corps in 1961, more than 240,000 Americans of all ages have served in 142 countries worldwide. For more information, visit and add us on FacebookTwitter and Instagram.


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