... by the numbers


Canadian co-operatives and credit unions have more than 18 million members. There are about 9,000 co-operatives in Canada. These include:

  • More than 2,200 housing co-operatives which are home to about 250,000 individuals.
  • More than 1,300 agricultural co-ops.
  • More than 650 retail co-operatives.
  • Nearly 900 credit unions and caisses populaires with close to 11 million members.
  • About 450 co-ops offering child care or early childhood education.
  • More than 600 worker (employee-owned) co-ops with a total membership of over 13,000.
  • More than 100 health care co-operatives.

Co-operatives (including credit unions) have an estimated $252 billion in assets.

More than 155,000 people are employed in the co-operative sector.

35 per cent of the world's maple syrup is produced by co-operatives in Quebec.

Canada has one of the highest per capita credit union memberships in the world. According to the World Council of Credit Unions, 46.2 per cent of the economically active population are members of a credit union or caisse populaire.

The survival rate of co-ops is higher than that of private sector companies. A 2008 study in Quebec found that 62 per cent of new co-ops are still operating after 10 years, compared with 44 per cent for other traditional businesses / corporations.