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Canadian nonprofits

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Nonprofits are big business in Canada, with a combined workforce that eclipses the agriculture and retail sectors, employing almost as many people as the entire manufacturing sector, a new study says.

The study, conducted by Imagine Canada and the Johns Hopkins Center for Civil Society Studies, is part of a larger effort by the center to analyze the economic impact of the nonprofit sector in countries throughout the world.

In proportion to its entire economy, Canada has the second-largest nonprofit sector, the study says, ahead of the U.S. and behind only the Netherlands.

The sector accounts for almost 7 percent of Canada’s gross domestic product and employs 12 percent of the country’s eligible workforce, compared to 10 percent for the U.S.

Compared to other countries, Canadian nonprofits receive more government funding, accounting for 51 percent of revenues, than do groups in other countries, the study says, in part because of the country’s public-health and education systems.

Among the 37 countries analyzed to date, the combined countries’ nonprofit sectors employ a total of 47.6 million full-time equivalent workers, the study says.

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