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Impact on U.S. Economy
Cooperatives and the U.S. Economy
For the complete report, see
Research on the Economic Impact of Cooperatives
In 2006, the University of Wisconsin Center for Cooperatives, with grant
funding support from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and matching support
from the National Cooperative Business Association and the Wisconsin Department
of Agriculture, Trade, and Consumer Protection, conducted a census of
cooperative business in the U.S. economy.
Nearly 30,000 cooperatives operate at 73,000 places of business throughout the U.S. These cooperatives own over $3 trillion in assets, generating over $500 billion in revenue and over $25 billion in wages.
The impact of this economic activity ripples out into the broader economy as spending by the co-op, and by those that receive its wages and income, generate revenue and income in other businesses. It is estimated that cooperatives account for nearly $654 billion in revenue, over two million jobs, $75 billion in wages and benefits paid, and a total of $133.5 billion in value-added income.
Americans hold 350 million memberships in cooperatives; nearly 340 million of which are in consumer cooperatives.
Patronage refunds and dividends distributed to members generate an estimated $79 billion in total impact.
Table 1: Economic Impact of U.S. Cooperatives: Aggregate Impacts by Sector 
|Commercial Sales and Marketing
|Social and Public Services
| Analysis does not include housing cooperatives.