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EACEA National Policies Platform


2. Voluntary Activities

2.4 Youth volunteering at national level

Last update: 28 November 2023
On this page
  1. National Programme for Youth Volunteering
  2. Funding
  3. Characteristics of youth volunteering
  4. Support to young volunteers
  5. Quality Assurance (QA)
  6. Target groups

National Programme for Youth Volunteering

There is no national programme for youth volunteering in Sweden.



The Swedish Government encourages and supports youth volunteering mainly through providing financial support to the civil society. More information on government grants is available in chapter 5.6 Supporting youth organisations


Characteristics of youth volunteering

Voluntary work has a long tradition in Sweden, especially within leisure and sports associations. Sports associations collect by far the largest share of youth voluntary workers within the Swedish civil society, according to a study conducted by Marie Cederschiöld University.

See even 2.7 Social inclusion through volunteering and 5.6 Supporting youth organisations for more information on the characteristics of youth volunteering in Sweden.

Official statistics

Official statistics on youth volunteering does not exist in Sweden, but a national representative survey is conducted by Marie Cederschiöld University (Marie Cederschiöld högskola) on a regular basis. The general picture is that the total extent of engagement in voluntary activities in Sweden is stable, and that the main part of activities take place within civil society organisations. According to the latest survey (2019) carried out by Marie Cederschiöld University, 54 per cent of young people between 16 and 24 have been involved in some form of voluntary activity. The share has been quite stable since 1992.

The most common voluntary activity carried out by young people is by far leading activities for others. That can be explained by the fact that many leaders of sports clubs are young people engaged on a voluntary basis.

When it comes to the extent of participation in voluntary activities, there ar(e no differences between men and women. However, there are differences in terms of age; the youngest between 16 and 29 years of age are overrepresented among those who only have one voluntary commitment. The relationship between age and the extent of participation in voluntary activities is closely associated with the assumption that voluntary work is included in the cumulative citizenship. The better one is integrated in society through education, work and family, the more engaged will one be in civil society.


Support to young volunteers

There are no support schemes or incentives to support young volunteers. However, as described in section 5.6 Supporting Youth Organisations, the government provides significant financial support to youth organisations. By supporting youth organisations with general grants, young volunteers are indirectly promoted.

In addition, the Swedish Agency for Youth and Civil Society (MUCF) has an on-going dialogue with youth organisations about the design and the effects of the government’s grants, in order to keep the system up-to-date with the developments in the civil society.    


Target groups

There are no national level youth volunteering initiatives initiated by the government at the moment, so therefore a definition of formal target groups is lacking. A general priority is though young people with fewer opportunities.