Twin Cities lead nation in volunteering

Take a bow, Twin Cities denizens. For the third year in a row, you've been singled out for your willingness--nay, eagerness--to take on community-enriching tasks free-of-charge.

A newly released federal report, "Volunteering in America 2009," estimates that 36.7 percent of Twin Citians volunteered last year-- which bests the likes of Portland (36.7), Salt Lake City (36.5), Seattle (34.3), and Kansas City (33.4). For perspective: our volunteer-rate triples that of Miami (14.3 percent).

At the state-level, Minnesota came in third. Only Nebraska and Utah did better. Alaska and Iowa followed close behind. The takeaway: mountainmen, mormons, and farmers love them some volunteer work... what else is there to do? (Semi-relevant sidebar: Tennessee came in 38th. "Volunteer State," indeed).

As for Minneapolis-St. Paul's exceptional do-goodedness: it appears to be the result of our medium size and geographic locale. The report notes that, for whatever reason, "Mid-size cities, particularly those in the Midwest, have on average higher volunteer rates than large cities, and residents of mid-size cities contribute more hours to volunteering."