Family Farms in EU Agriculture

How Central Are Family Farms to EU Agriculture?

In 2020, the EU was home to 9.1 million farms, and a staggering 93% of them were family farms. This means that the farms were primarily run by families, with family members contributing to more than half of the agricultural labor.

  • 57% of these farms operated solely with the farm holder and their family.
  • For 36% of farms, family members made up at least half of the entire labor force.
Family farms in the EU, 2020

Family farms played a significant role in the EU’s agriculture in various aspects:

  • They used about 61% of the 157.4 million hectares allocated for agriculture.
  • Employed almost 78% of the total agricultural labor force.
  • Raised almost 55% of the livestock.
  • Produced approximately 56% of the standard output.
Distribution of farms in the EU, 2020

In contrast, non-family farms, which were only 7% of the total number of farms in 2020, had:

  • Usage of roughly 39% of agricultural land.
  • Employment of about 22% of the total agricultural labor force.
  • Ownership of approximately 45% of livestock units.
  • Generation of about 44% of the standard output.

While family farms made up more than 80% of all farms in most EU countries, Estonia (65%) and France (58%) were notable exceptions.

On the other hand, countries like Greece, Romania, and Poland had nearly 99% of their farms classified as family farms.

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