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Volunteering Study: Best And Worst Cities At Giving Back (SLIDESHOW)

First Posted: 08/11/11 11:42 AM ET   Updated: 10/11/11 06:12 AM ET

When it comes to the top altruistic metro areas, Twin Cities residents uphold their reputation of "Minnesota nice," whereas people in Miami appear to be too busy at the beach.

Volunteering in America released a report this week of volunteer rates in top cities nationwide from 2008 to 2010.

Overall, the number of volunteers dropped last year by half a percentage point, to 26.3 percent, the report said.

Robert Velasco, acting CEO of the Corporation for National and Community Service, tells USA Today that it's nothing to worry about.

"It's a very small dip and one year's data is not representative of a trend," he said.

Besides reporting the number of people giving back, the study explored possible explanations for a city's volunteer rate by examining factors such as education, poverty and foreclosure numbers.

See the full ranking at Volunteering in America, and check for your state in the slideshow below.

SLIDESHOW: Best And Worst States At Volunteering

#1. Twin Cities
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With the government shutdown and the state's polarizing political candidates, the headlines about Minnesota have been anything but positive. But its residents still maintain their legendary reputation as being "Minnesota nice." The Minneapolis-St. Paul area had a volunteer rate of 37.1 percent, earning the No. 1 spot. Giving back has long been tied to an attachment to one's community, indicated by home ownership, the study says. A whopping 72.4 percent of Twin Cities residents own their home, compared to the 65.9 percent nationwide rate. In addition, the city has more nonprofits than other metros, making volunteering opportunities easier to come by.
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Filed by Jessica Prois  |