Global changes in agriculture
37% of the world’s population makes a living working in agriculture, which is defined as cultivating farmland, fishing, forestry and hunting. This proportion has fallen by 12% since 1980, when almost 50% of people on Earth found employment in agriculture, while the other half of the population worked in other sectors of the economy.
Growth in Asian countries
In 1980 – 2011, the number of people dealing with agriculture had risen by as much as 50% in India and by 37% in China. This resulted from rapid population growth in those countries, with the number of inhabitants having reached 1.21 billion and 1.35 billion people respectively. At the same time, however, the number of people employed in sectors other that agriculture rose by 134%!
Fewer farmers in the Americas and in Europe
It was on those continents that the population of farmers decreased the most sharply. The factors behind this trend include migration away from the countryside to urban areas, increasing consolidation of farmland, rising consumption of fertilizers, and technological development of farm equipment. The number of farmers in Europe shrank by 66%, in North America – by 45%, and in South America – by 35%.