Italian Center for Documentation on Cooperation and Social Economy | Virtual museum - Argentina

Virtual Museum
of cooperatives


The cooperative movement in Argentina was the first to begin in a country outside the industrialized countries of Europe, Australia, Canada, Japan and the United States. The first society was established in 1875, followed by two other successful societies in 1884 and 1885. The first cooperative legislation was enacted in 1905 and the first national union formed in 1922. The movement has gradually developed into a network of diverse types of cooperatives and has continued to grow in spite of the periods of political turmoil that have been a part of the nation’s history. A total of 721 cooperatives with 417,124 members at the end of World War II grew to a total of 3,839 with 4,184,342 members in 1970, and to 4,383 societies with 10,180,859 members in 1986 (more than 33% of the total population). In recent years the number of cooperatives has increased, but total membership has declined by nearly 10%. In 1991 cooperatives were found in the following sectors: agriculture—1,492 societies/with 442,991 members; consumer—476/1,000,000. housing—l,428/243,973; insurance— 49/3,727,097; savings and credit—301/1,530,00; public services— 1,4761,997,905 worker productive— 2,111/33,329; and others—809/127,974. In all there were 8.142 cooperatives with a combined member ship of 9,103,269, equaling 27.8% of the national population. The cooperative movement in Argentina is as established, independent and diverse as any in the world. Its diversity is reflected in a network of national federations, financial institutions, education and training structures, and a cooperative publishing house, INTERCOOP Editora Cooperativa Limitada, of international repute.
Jack Shaffer, Historical Dictionary of the Cooperative Movement, The Scarecrow Press, Inc. Lanham, Md., & London 1999
Andrés Spognardi, Il Movimento Cooperativo Argentino (1983-2005) ,  Muec, Università di Bologna, febbraio 2006. 
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