Co-operatives serve as engines for local economies; generating and retaining local wealth, operating through existing social networks within communities and providing economic opportunities for local people. Is there a correlation between levels of social engagement and the presence of co-operatives and credit unions? Using the Statistics Canada GSS survey, 2003 and Environics Analytics, Business Locations data it is possible to assess the linkages between social engagement and the presence of cooperatives in Canada. Linkages between demographics (including the breakdown of rural/urban co-operatives and credit unions) and social engagement we isolated volunteerism as a dependant variable in logit regressions. It was established that: across Canada, the older people are, if an individual is female, the larger her or his household is, the less TV he or she watches, the more she or he uses internet, the higher the rate of highschool graduation, the more trusting people are of their neighbours, the more rural an area is, the more fully employed people are, the less likely they are to say no to volunteerism. Although, in all provinces the rural areas have higher levels of social engagement, social engagement is not a direct indicator for the existence of higher levels of co-operative businesses.


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