News Agriculture, Garden, Statistic

According to the final results of the register of agricultural and horticultural enterprises, the average age of farmers was 53 years in 2018. Nearly 30 per cent of farmers on privately owned farms were over 60 years, and only 16 per cent were under 40 years.

“The number of farmers of over 70 years is increasing rapidly. It seems that more and more people continue to run their farms, even at the retirement age”, says Jaana Kyyrä, senior statistician at the Natural Resources Institute Finland (Luke).

On limited liability farms, the average age of farmers was the lowest, i.e. 48 years. Farmers in charge of farms owned by heirs were the oldest at an average age of 60 years. On family-run farms, the average age of farmers was 52 years.

The trend is the same in other EU states: there are not many young farmers compared with older age groups. In 2016, more than half of all farmers in the EU were over 55 years, while ten per cent were under 40 years. In Portugal, more than half of all farmers have turned 65 years. The highest number of farmers of under 40 years was in Austria, Poland and Slovakia.

Photo: Olga Pihlman

The number of farms specified at 47,600

In 2018, the number of agricultural and horticultural enterprises totalled 47,600 farms. During the year, nearly two per cent of farms stopped operating, while the general rate of discontinued operations has been two or three per cent in recent years. With regard to municipalities, Kouvola had the highest number (920) of agricultural and horticultural enterprises. It was followed by Salo with its 890 farms.

Of all agricultural and horticultural enterprises in Finland, 86 per cent were privately owned farms. There were fewer than 1,000 limited liability farms, comprising two per cent of all farms. Less than nine per cent were farming syndicates and some two per cent were farms owned by heirs.

Background to the statistics

Statistics on the structure of agricultural and horticultural enterprises contain data on the number of agricultural and horticultural enterprises, their land use and production lines, as well as farmers in Finland. The statistics provide an overview of the ownership and production structure of Finnish agriculture and horticulture, as well as the number and age distribution of farmers. Most of the data for the statistics are pooled from rural administration registers. The figures presented here are final.

For more information and tables related to the statistics, please visit stat.luke.fi/en.