Back Farming: profession with relatively few young farmers


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There were 10.3 million people working as farm managers in the EU in 2016. The average age of farmers is very much at the older end of the age spectrum; one third (32%) of farm managers in the EU were 65 years of age or more. Only 11% of farm managers in the EU were young farmers under the age of 40 years.

Young farmers were particularly few and far between in Cyprus (3.3% of all farm managers), Portugal (4.2%) and the United Kingdom (5.3%). They were more common in Austria (22.2%), Poland (20.3%) and Slovakia (19.0%).


Proportion of farm managers aged under 40, 2016


Nevertheless, the youngest farm managers tended to have bigger farms in terms of area, livestock and standard output than the oldest ones (over 65 years of age).

The farming profession is dominated by men, with only about three in ten (29%) EU farm managers being women. The proportion of young farm managers who were women was lower still (23%).


Further information on this topic can be found in the news release of 28 June 2018.

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