As countries develop, the share of the population working in agriculture is declining. While more than 2/3 of the population in poor countries work in agriculture, less than 5% of the population does in rich countries. It is predominantly the huge productivity increase that makes this reduction in labor possible.
Similarly the productivity increase makes it possible to reduce the agricultural land needed to feed a given number of people.
# Empirical View
# Long-Run Perspective: 1300 to Today
Share of the labor force working in agriculture, 1300-20121Full screen view Download Data Download static image
# Absolute size and share of the agricultural labor force in England, the Netherlands, and France, 1500-2000 – Simon (1996)2
The map shows the share employed in agriculture country by country. Three quarters of the labor force in a poor country like Madagascar are employed in agriculture. In rich countries like Germany or the UK it is only 1 in 100 who is employed in agriculture.
# Agricultural labor force and rural population by continent, 1960-2005 – World Development Report (2008)4
# Women in agriculture
# Correlates, Determinants & Consequences
# The importance of the agricultural sector declines as the economy grows
# Value added in the agricultural sector is low in prosperous economies
The visualisation shows that the importance of the agricultural sector is small in rich countries. In countries with a GDP per capita over 15,000 int.-$ less than 10% of the value added in the economy comes from the agricultural sector.
# Few people are employed in the agricultural sector in prosperous economies
# Labor productivity in agriculture
# Data Quality & Definition
Labor requirements are considerably higher for vegetables than for cereals, as shown in the graph below.