I helped to launch our new statistical review, the Co-operative Economy 2011, nice and early on Radio 4, the Today programme as part of Co-operatives Fortnight.
With over twelve million members, it emerges that more people own shares, or their equivalent, in co-operatives than there are direct shareholders in the stock market.
I know that more have an indirect stake through private pensions, but it remains a stark reminder of how poor the current economy is at spreading ownership (only 12% of households hold any conventional form of business asset, according to research quoted recently by Adam Schoenborn of Res Publica).
ps the figures on individual direct shareholders, at around 9 million in the UK, comes from an international survey by the University of Bath. If anyone has more data, to test or firm this up, or on ownership more widely, please do share it!