CMC is proud to announce the release of the Economic Impact Report of Co-operatives and Mutuals in Canada. This new report, which was conducted in 2022, uses 2019 data and provides a comprehensive picture of incorporated co-operatives and mutuals in Canada in 2019.

A Force from Coast to Coast to Coast

The co-operative and the mutual sector is a force to be reckoned with. Co-operatives and mutuals can be found across Canada, in the North. As of 2019, Canada counted over 6,365 co-operatives, making them a vital contributor to the Canadian economy.  Interestingly, 45% of these co-operatives can be found in the province of Quebec.

Co-operatives and Mutuals are Strong Employers within Canada

Over 174,000 people have full-time or full-time equivalent employment in co-operatives with salaries totalling over $6.8 billion.

When accounting for the indirect job creation, the co-operative sector expands to 592,000 people in full-time equivalent jobs providing $28.3 billion in household income. Non-financial co-operatives and credit unions/caisses are the bulk of this.

When it comes to the total of FTE jobs within the co-operative movement, the financial and insurance sector holds 40% of the total jobs, followed by whole and retail trade at 35%, construction and manufacturing at 10%, and finally health care and social assistance with 6%.

Contributing to the Canadian Economy

The co-operatives and mutuals across the country contribute to Canada’s economy in big ways. The co-operative sector contributed $49.2 billion dollars towards the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in 2019, totalling to 2.5% of the Canada’s GDP. Furthermore, the sector also paid $10.4 billion dollars in taxes to the federal government.

Co-operatives and Mutuals – A Versatile Business Model in Multiple Industries

Financial vs. Non-Financial Co-operatives

When examining the larger picture, it was found that non-financial co-operatives are the majority of co-ops found in the country, with more employees and four times the revenue of credit unions, caisses populaires and mutuals.  However, credit unions and caisses understandably have much higher assets and pay more in taxes compared to non-financial co-operatives. Furthermore, credit unions and caisses populaires employ approximately 1/3 of the co-operative workforce and provide 2/3 of the total salary dollars total within the co-operative sector.

The Different Types of Co-operatives and Mutuals

There are five different types of co-operatives and mutuals in Canada. In 2019, 70% of the co-ops were consumer co-operatives. This was followed by producer co-ops at 15%, multistakeholder co-operatives at 8%, worker co-operatives at 8% and federations at 1%. In terms of status, the Canadian co-operative sector has 59% non-profit co-operatives and 41% for profit co-operatives. Of the non-profit co-operatives, 52% were housing co-operatives.  

Co-operatives and Mutuals in Different Economic Sectors

Representing 43% of Canada’s co-operatives are found in the real estate and rental services industry (housing co-operatives), followed by co-operatives in health care and social assistance, co-operatives in other services and public administration and then, co-operatives and mutuals in the finance and insurance industry. Next was construction and manufacturing at 11%. The proportion of revenue generated by co-operatives in other sectors is similar, at 1 % or less.


Co-operatives and mutuals positively impact the Canadian economy by being strong employers in a multitude of different industries operated from coast to coast to coast.

To learn more about the economic impact of co-operatives and mutuals across Canada, make sure to read the complete report or view our infographic based on the key findings.