The habits we form as kids tend to stick with us through adulthood. That’s great news for Kansas, where more teenagers volunteer actively in their communities than in any other state.

The latest Volunteering and Civic Life in America study, released this month by the Corporation for National and Community Service and the National Conference on Citizenship, found that 40.9 percent of Kansas teenagers volunteered between 2011 and 2013, the highest rate in the country.

Kansans of any age are generous with their time: Two-thirds engage in what the study calls “informal volunteering,” such as helping out a neighbor. They contributed 82.2 million hours of service in 2013, time valued at $1.8 billion.

More than a third of the state’s total population, 36.1 percent, volunteered in a formal setting, the report found. More than a quarter of residents reported collecting and distributing food to the needy, while 23 percent said they spent time raising money for their favorite causes.

When looking beyond teens, Utah’s volunteerism rate is higher than anywhere else. The majority of Utah volunteers, 66 percent, serve religious organizations. In Kansas, by contrast, 35 percent of volunteers said they gave time to religious groups, while 26 percent said they helped educational organizations. (Utah residents’ generosity with their money and time earned the state our Best State award in May.)

Volunteering isn’t only good for the community — it can also be good for the economy. A June 2013 report from the Corporation for National and Community Service found that unemployed people who volunteer are 27 percent more likelyto find paying jobs. And people without a high school diploma were 51 percent more likely to find employment if they volunteered than if they didn’t.

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