Only 26 per cent of Scots did any form of formal volunteering with clubs, groups or organisations such as charities in 2018/19, according to the latest Scottish Household Survey, called Scotland's People Annual Report 2018.
The report, which is published by the Scottish government and run by the Office for National Statistics, also says that 52 per cent of Scots do not do any informal volunteering, such as helping neighbours or babysitting.
When asked what could be done to encourage non-volunteers – 74 per cent of the Scottish population – to get involved in formal volunteering, 72 per cent said nothing could be done to persuade them to volunteer.
In comparison, the Community Life Survey 2018/19, which covers England and Wales, found formal volunteering rates were at 36 per cent of the population on an annual basis.
But formal volunteering rates in Scotland have remained consistent over the past decade, the survey says, moving from 28 per cent in 2009 to 26 per cent this year.
The survey found that 55 per cent of Scottish volunteers went to "generally help out as required", and more than 20 per cent of volunteers went to help with office or administrative work, to be committee members or trustees, or to help fundraising efforts.
A quarter of men and 28 per cent of women did formal volunteering, the survey says, with women consistently outranking men in the survey.
The survey found that 75-plus was the age group least likely to volunteer formally, at 19 per cent, with 35 to 44-year-olds most likely to, at 33 per cent.
People from rich socio-economic groups were more likely to volunteer formally than those in the poorest, the report says, and remote rural areas were more likely to volunteer formally than in cities.
Children’s organisations were the most likely to attract volunteers, the report suggests.
The survey also found that 70 per cent of volunteers provided less than 10 hours a month of volunteering.