Nonprofit organizations are major employers and contribute significantly to economic growth in countries throughout the world, a new study by the Johns Hopkins Center for Civil Society Studies reveals.
The study drew on data generated by statistical offices in 16 countries: Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, the Czech Republic, France, Israel, Japan, Kyrgyzstan, Mexico, Mozambique, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, Thailand and the U.S.
The nonprofit workforce, comprising both paid and volunteer workers, made up 7.4% of the total workforce on average in the 13 countries on which full data were available. This placed it ahead of major industries, such as transportation and finance.
In six of the 16 countries for which data were available, nonprofits employed a tenth or more of the total workforce, making them one of the largest employers of any industry in these countries.
The nonprofit sector is not only a major economic presence in countries throughout the world, but is also a growing one, the report found.
From the late 1990s to the mid-2000s, nonprofits contributed to GDP growth at an average rate of 5.8% per year in the eight countries for which longitudinal data were available. This compared with 5.2% for the economies as a whole in these countries.