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About Co-operatives Worldwide

The Co-operative Movement brings together over 800 million people around the world. The United Nations estimated in 1994 that the livelihood of nearly 3 billion people, or half of the world's population, was made secure by co-operative enterprise. These enterprises continue to play significant economic and social roles in their communities.

  • In Asia 45.3 million people are members of a credit union. (Source: Association of Asian Confederation of Credit Unions, Annual Report 2007/2008)
  • In Argentina, there are 11,357 co-operative societies with over 9 million members - 22% of the population. (Source: Instituto Nacional de Asociativismo y Economia Social (INAES), September 2007)
  • In Belgium, there were 29,933 co-operative societies in 2001.
  • In Canada, four of every ten Canadians are members of at least one co-operative. In Quebec, approximately 70% of the population are co-op members, while in Saskatchewan 56% are members. Source: Co-operative Secretariat, Government of Canada.
  • In Colombia over 4 million people are members of co-operatives or 9.17% of the population. (Source: CONFECOOP. Sector Cooperativo Colombiano 2007)
  • Costa Rica counts over 10% of its population as members of co-operatives.
  • Finland, S-Group has a membership of 1,468,572 individuals which represents 62% of Finnish households. (Source: SOK Corporation Annual Report 2004)
  • In Germany, there are 20 million people who are members of co-operatives, 1 out of 4 people.
  • In Indonesia, 27.5% families representing approximately 80 million individuals are members of co-operatives. (Source: Ministry of Co-operative & SMEs, Indonesia,2004)
  • In Japan, 1 out of every 3 families is a member of a co-operatives.
  • Kenya 1 in 5 is a member of a co-operative or 5.9 million and and 20 million Kenyans directly or indirectly derive their livelihood from the Co-operative Movement.
  • In India, over 239 million people are members of a co-operative.
  • In Malaysia, 5.9 million people or 24% of the total population are members of co-operatives.(Source: Ministry of Entrepreneur and Co-operative Development, Department of Co-operative Development, Malaysia, December 2006)
  • In New Zealand, 40% of the adult population are members of co-operatives and mutuals. (Source: New Zealand Co-operative Association, 2007)
  • In Singapore, 50% of the population (1.6 million people) are members of a co-operative.
  • In the United States, 4 in 10 individuals is a member of a co-operative (25%).

The information provided here has been collected from a variety of sources including ICA's statistical questionnaire, information published by co-operative organisations, presentations made by co-operatives, and government statistical offices.

International Young Co-operatives:

Instituto Germosen, Santiago, Dominican Republic

Auction Technologys & Projects, Cape Town, South Africa

Bopaganang Secondary School, Huhudi, South Africa

Rosebank College, Daveyton, South Africa, Achievers

Zombodze National High School, Swaziland, Umtsentse Workers

Conquerors International School, Nigeria

International Co-operative Alliance, R.K. Puram, India

Shamrock Middle School, Georgia, United States