The town was named for the English volunteers in the 1675 Indian wars (King Philip's War) who stayed to fight "and went not away". Later land holders included Benedict Arnold, the Maj. General who later conspired unsuccessfully to turn over the plans of West Point, New York to the British and who betrayed his countrymen by leading British troops in battle against them.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 39.8 square miles (103 km2). 38.9 square miles (101 km2) of it is land and 0.9 square miles (2.3 km2) of it (2.14%) is covered by surface water.
|U.S. Decennial Census|
As of the census of 2000, there were 2,528 people, 952 households, and 702 families residing in the town. The population density was 65.0 people per square mile (25.1/km²). There were 1,091 housing units at an average density of 28.0 per square mile (10.8/km²). The racial makeup of the town was 96.64% White, 0.55% African American, 0.99% Native American, 0.28% Asian, 0.40% from other races, and 1.15% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.19% of the population. 13.2% were of English, 12.5% French Canadian, 11.5% Irish, 9.2% American, 8.9% French, 8.0% Polish, 7.6% Italian, 7.3% German and 5.6% Finnish ancestry according to Census 2000.
There were 952 households out of which 37.4% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 61.9% were married couples living together, 7.0% had a female householder with no husband present, and 26.2% were non-families. 19.0% of all households were made up of individuals and 6.3% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.66 and the average family size was 3.05.
In the town, the population was spread out with 26.5% under the age of 18, 5.3% from 18 to 24, 36.9% from 25 to 44, 21.7% from 45 to 64, and 9.5% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 36 years. For every 100 females there were 104.2 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 105.6 males.
The median income for a household in the town was $56,802, and the median income for a family was $61,618. Males had a median income of $42,647 versus $27,368 for females. The per capita income for the town was $23,707. About 3.0% of families and 4.9% of the population were below the poverty line, including 4.7% of those under age 18 and 10.3% of those age 65 or over.
There is only one school in the school district. Voluntown Elementary School offers grades pre-k through 8th and has offered full-day kindergarten since the 2008-2009 school year. The school also offers a program for three year-old children. In-town high school students are given the option of attending one of two public schools: Griswold High School or Norwich Free Academy. They are also given the choice of selecting a technical school: Norwich Tech or Ellis Tech. Students can also attend Quinebaug Middle College at Q.V.C.C. in Danielson, CT, and Marine Science Magnet High School in Groton, CT.
Voluntown is the home of the Voluntown Peace Trust, successor to the New England Committee for Non-Violent Action, which opposed nuclear weapons testing and the launch of nuclear submarines from nearby Groton during the 1950s and 1960s.