REGIONAL Victorians are more likely to volunteer than their metropolitan counterparts, data has found.
Figures from the 2016 Census showed West Wimmera Shire had the highest rate of volunteering in the state, with 44.9 per cent of the population lending a hand.
Overall, the region was well above the state average for volunteering.
In Horsham 32.4 per cent of residents do voluntary work, while 37.8 per cent of people volunteer in Hindmarsh and 38.5 per cent of people in Yarriambiack municipalities.
Victoria's average volunteer rate is 19.2 per cent.
In West Wimmera Shire, Goroke is home to the largest Apex club in the country, with 32 members. President Jarred Lowe said the group was opened to anyone aged between 18 and 45.
"We do a lot of working bees and lamb marking to raise money, which we donate to community groups throughout the year," he said.
"So far we have donated about $40,000 or $50,000 to the community."
Mr Lowe said most of the club's members were farmers.
"We have a lot of young guys wanting to join up when they turn 18," he said.
"Goroke is really good for volunteers - I'm also the deputy controller for the Goroke SES and the Edenhope SES.
"We seem to have a core group of people that aren't afraid to jump in and lend a hand.
"Goroke wouldn't be the place it is without volunteers."
Mr Lowe said volunteers were essential in small communities, but sometimes it could be the same group of people helping out.
"Small rural towns would be completely dead without people willing to help out and pump money back into the community," he said.
"However, it's the same people doing it sometimes - our SES unit has about 14 or 15 members and only one person is not also a CFA member.
"When the pager is going off, you have to think about what colour hat you are going to put on."
Centre for Participation chief executive Julie Pettett said volunteers were critical for the region.
"Volunteers are the fabric of our society," she said.
"It's not just what the volunteers do to support the community, it's about the experience for the volunteer as well.
"There wouldn't be a person who said their life wasn't better for volunteering."
Ms Pettett said volunteering also helped people gain skills ready for the workforce.
"Being a volunteer improves your health and wellbeing and builds a sense of satisfaction," she said.
Ms Pettett said people in regional areas had to create the community they wanted to live in, leading to higher rates of volunteering than in metropolitan areas.
"People who volunteer vote every day for the community they want to live in, and by volunteering they feel supported," she said.