Key figures

Number of cooperatives per sector
Key figures
Key figures

Research overview


Responding to challenges and existing knowledge gaps facing the cooperative movement, this mapping research seeks to provide exhaustive information on cooperatives around the world.

This is achieved through a process jointly conducted by the ICA and its four regional offices – Cooperatives of the Americas, Cooperatives Europe, ICA Africa, and ICA Asia-Pacific – using a common methodology, designed with the support of external experts from the European Research Institute on Cooperative and Social Enterprises (Euricse).

Each office collected the input of ICA members present in the countries within its geographic area, by using a common questionnaire, and completing it with relevant national statistics, in order to obtain a picture of the national situation. As a result, the data above is collected following two strategies: 1) a survey targeting ICA cooperative members 2) collecting national statistics already available in the country. The numbers above provide aggregated data from ICA members on the number of cooperatives, as well as the number of cooperative employees and memberships in the country. More methodological information is available in the full report. In Iran, the data is collected for the reference year 2017.

Mapping out cooperatives in each country provides a more precise picture of the cooperative context at national and regional levels, enhances the movement's visibility, networking, partnerships opportunities, as well as advocacy, and empowers cooperators by providing tools for positive change.

This webpage presents a snapshot of the research results for Iran. For more information and the full research results, you can download the highlights and the report by clicking on the links above.




The modern cooperative sector in Iran builds on traditional cooperation practiced among farmers that takes the form of collective cultivation, weeding, irrigation and harvesting. Modernisation of agriculture, through mechanisation and new forms of irrigation, disrupts these traditional forms and leads to the emergence of new forms of cooperation such as the sharing of machinery. Following the 1979 Revolution, cooperatives were recognised both as tools to serve people’s common needs and as drivers of economic development. Cooperatives were incorporated into the Constitutional Law as the third economic sector, alongside the public and private sectors.



ICA has ten members from Iran.

In Iran, the research questionnaire was distributed to and completed by 2 ICA member organisations and 1 Associate member in the country. The data collected was for the reference year 2017.




ICA members represent over 92,089 cooperatives in the country, with a total number of memberships of 9,348,364, and a total number of 1,737,426 employees.

User cooperatives, producer cooperatives, worker cooperatives and multi-stakeholder cooperatives are all present in Iran. 

Its member organisations are active in the several sectors, including Agriculture and Food Industry, Banking, Construction, Education, Wholesale and Retail Trade, etc. The graphics above provide more information. 


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