The average amount given to charity is higher than in previous years, while volunteering levels have seen little change, according to a Cabinet Office survey published yesterday.
The Community Life Survey, published annually by the Cabinet Office, tracks a number of indicators of individuals' involvement in communities, including volunteering and giving. It covers only England.
This year's figures are based on face-to-face interviews with a sample of just over 2,000 individuals, which was considerably smaller than in previous years.
A Citizenship Survey was first conducted in 2005, then again annually from 2007/08. In recent years it has reduced in size and asked a smaller number of questions.
Last year, people gave an average of £22 in the four weeks prior to being interviewed. The figure is the highest average since the survey began in 2005, even after adjustments are made for inflation.
In comparison, people gave an average of £21 in the year ending 2014.
Of all respondents, 75 per cent had given to charity, compared .
The survey showed that figure fell to 72 per cent during the recession, in 2009/10 and 2010/11, but that giving was at its highest in 2005 when the survey was first conducted, at 79 per cent.
Formal volunteering little changed
The survey found that total volunteering dropped by five per cent over the last 12 months. Some 69 per cent of people surveyed said they volunteered at least once over the last year, compared to 74 per cent of people the previous year.
However was due to a drop in "informal volunteering" - individuals helping out for friends and neighbours - which fell from 64 per cent in the year ending 2014 to 59 per cent over the past year.
The number of "formal volunteers" - those working for organised groups such as charities - remained similar, at 42 per cent over the past year compared to 41 per cent the year before. Volunteering levels have remained stable since the survey began in 2005.
Women continue to volunteer more than men. Last year, 43 per cent of "formal" volunteers were female, compared with 41 per cent of men. More women have volunteered than men in every year since the survey began in 2005.
The age group most involved in "formal" volunteering were those aged between 35 and 49 – with 50 per cent volunteering. The next most likely were 16 to 25-year-olds, at 47 per cent.
People from the south east of England were the most likely to formally volunteer, with 50 per cent involved. People from the north east were least likely to, with only 28 per cent involved.