Active volunteers among young ethnic Hungarians aged 15-29 living in the region beyond the border in 2020   

András Morauszki - Anna Mária Bartal



Currently, there are no representative research data available on the extent of the volunteer activities of young ethnic Hungarians living beyond the border regions and on the socio-demographic characteristics of such volunteers. The aim of our study is – by using the Hungarian Youth Survey 2020 representative database – to provide a comprehensive picture and analyse the main characteristics of young people aged 15-29 and living in the historic region of Upper Hungary (in Slovakia), Transylvania (in Romania), Transcarpathia (in Ukraine), and Vojvodina (in Serbia) who volunteered during the year before the survey. As the analyses in Hungary found significant differences between active volunteers and their specific age groups along with different sociodemographic indicators, we also conducted in case of young ethnic Hungarians an analysis by age groups as an additional objective. Our data showed that the proportion of active volunteers among young ethnic Hungarians living in the regions beyond border differs significantly and positively from those of the total population of the respective countries. Hence, we were able to identify four different types of active volunteers in the four regions located beyond the borders. Among the young ethnic Hungarians living in the historic region of Upper Hungary (in Slovakia), the active volunteers were a well-defined group, and it was a clearly prevalent tendency that volunteers came from higher social classes and more affluent background. This suggests that in their case, volunteering is likely to be coupled with a higher social status. Similar statements can be made, predominantly in terms of better financial status, for young active volunteers in Transylvania (in Romania), the majority of whom were aged 15-18. A strong influence of family status on becoming an active volunteer was also found for the age group from 24 to 29 years. Active volunteers in Vojvodina (in Serbia) represent another specific group of young people living beyond the border regions, and our results suggest that volunteering is likely to offer an opportunity for social mobility for these young people. Among young people in Transcarpathia (in Ukraine) active volunteers also represented a 'unique' group – children of mothers with secondary and tertiary education, who are mostly aged 15-18, are religious and studying in secondary and tertiary education. The analysis by age group showed that the active volunteer base is made up of young ethnic Hungarians aged 19-29 years in the historic region of Upper Hungary (in Slovakia) and Vojvodina (in Serbia) and those of aged 15-24 years in Transylvania (in Romania) and Transcarpathia (in Ukraine). We expect that our results will provide the civil society and the youth organisations in the beyond border regions a differentiated picture of their volunteer base, and in addition, what factors need to be considered in their retention and what age groups offer potentials for recruiting young volunteers.

Keywords: active volunteers, volunteering, young people, Central and Eastern European civic-nonprofit sector, youth, historic region of Upper Hungary (in Slovakia), Transylvania (in Romania), Vojvodina (in Serbia), Transcarpathia (in Ukraine)