Facts and figures

One in every six people are cooperators of any of the 3 million cooperatives on earth. Cooperatives employ 10% of the employed population, and generate 2.1 trillion USD in turnover while providing the services and infrastructure society needs to thrive.

Co-operatives are enterprises based on ethics, values and principles that put the needs and aspirations of their members above the simple goal of maximising profit.

Through self-help and empowerment, reinvesting in their communities and concern for the well-being of people and the world in which we live, cooperatives nurture a long-term vision for sustainable economic growth, social development and environmental responsibility.

Co-operation is not a marginal phenomenon. More than 1,2 billion cooperative members, one in every six people on the planet, are part of any of the 3 million co-operatives in the world! They are strong and healthy: the Top 300 cooperatives and mutuals report a total turnover of 2,1 trillion USD, according to the World Co-operative Monitor (2017).

As member-owned, member-run and member-serving businesses, cooperatives empower people to collectively realise their economic aspirations, while strengthening their social and human capital and developing their communities.

Co-operatives contribute to sustainable economic growth and stable, quality employment, employing 280 million people across the globe, in other words 10% of the world’s employed population.

Co-operatives are currently in the second phase of implementing the Blueprint for a Co-operative Decade, a global strategy for the co-operative business model to be by 2020 the acknowledged leader in economic, social and environmental sustainability, the model preferred by people and the fastest growing form of enterprise.

The International Co-operative Alliance is one of the largest non-governmental organisations in the world today by the number of people it represents, according to available figures. The Alliance directly represents 700 million individuals through its approximately 306 members from 105 countries. The countries with the largest number of members represented by the Alliance are the United States, Japan, India, Iran, Bangladesh, Indonesia, Germany, and Canada.


Share your statistics!

Please send any statistics you have on your co-operative organisation, members and the movement of your country to Mrs Gretchen Hacquard, Director of Membership, hacquard@ica.coop 


A strong and healthy movement

The International Co-operative Alliance, with the scientific and technical support of the European Research Institute on Cooperative and Social Enterprises (Euricse) – publishes an annual report on the co-operative economy : The World Co-operative Monitor.

You can find, download the World Co-operative Monitor and add your co-operative date for the next edition at www.monitor.coop

Co-operatives create and maintain employment

Presented for the first time at the 2014 Summit of Co-operatives, the study “Cooperatives and Employment: a global report” carried out by CICOPA, the Alliance's sector for industrial and service cooperatives, discusses the significance of cooperative employment globally, both quantitatively and qualitatively. Its second edition published in September 2017 and based on data from 156 countries, shows how cooperatives contribute to resilient employment, a sustainable economy and the well-being of people at work.

Database of Co-operative Statistics

There is no global-level comprehensive database of cooperative statistics because statistical offices analyse co-operatives differently from country to country. Therefore, it is difficult to get a complete picture. There are some key reports and tools that provide some global data on co-operatives: 

Should you require data for a particular sector or country, just let us know, and we might be able to direct you to the data or contact points.