Great structural changes in agriculture
Agriculture, forestry, hunting and fishing
jt1999, Census of agriculture (discontinued), farmers, farming, holdings, size of farm, outbuildings, farmlands, agricultural machinery, livestock, horticulture, greenhouse, allodial law, agricultural education, supplementary industriesCensuses of agriculture , Agriculture, forestry, hunting and fishing

Census of agriculture (discontinued)1999

The statistics has been discontinued, see the Census from 2010: Census of agriculture



Great structural changes in agriculture

Half as many farms, twice as big holdings, 70-80 per cent fewer holdings with livestock and increased size of livestock. These are the changes in Norwegian agriculture from 1969 to 1999.

 Number of holdings by size of agricultural area in use

In 1999 there were 70 740 holdings with agricultural area in use. This represents a fall of 55 per cent since 1969. The average holding operated 147 decares in 1999. While four out of five holdings operated less than 100 decares in 1969, two out of five operated an area of this size in 1999. The number of holdings with 300 decares or more was almost tripled.

The agricultural area increased in the period by about 8 per cent to 10.3 million decares. Land rental increased strongly, and in 1999 almost a third of all agricultural land was rented. In 1979 about a fifth of the area was rented.

Increased animal livestocks

As for agricultural land, the animal livestock has become concentrated at less and bigger holdings. With the exceptionof dairy cows, the number of animals has increased for most other sorts. The increase was biggest for pigs for breeding, which increased by almost 30 per cent the last 30 years. The number of holdings with livestock fell dramatically, and the decrease was between 70 and 80 per cent.

79 500 full time equivalents

The labour input in agriculture and horticulture corresponded to 79 500 full time equivalents in 1998/1999. 77 per cent of the labour input was conducted by the holders themselves, while family members, regularly and temporarily employees conducted the rest. At half of the holdings, the labour input corresponded to one full time equivalents or more, while one out of three holdings had labour input corresponding to less than half a full time equivalent each. On average it was conducted 1.1 full time equivalents per holding.

36 000 holders, included spouse and cohabitants, worked 1 500 hours or more at the holding. This represented less than 30 per cent of all holders. In 1989 more than 20 per cent of the holders worked 1 500 hours or more at the holding.

For the first time, labour input in supplemental industries has been surveyed. Supplemental industries are activities that utilise a holdings land, buildings or machinery. At 29 000 holdings there was conducted 4 400 full time equivalents in these industries. Machinery-related services were the largest supplemental industry, in which just about 14 000 holdings were engaged in 1998/1999.

Younger holders

The average age fell from 54 years in 1969 to 48 years in 1999. The part of holders younger than 50 years increased from 36 per cent in 1969 to 55 per cent in 1999. The part of holders 60 years and older decreased, and represented 17 per cent of all holders in 1999.

Many small fields

 Holdings by number of fields

For the first time questions about fields and parcels has been surveyed. The average size of parcels and fields was in 1999 respectively 47 decares and 23 decares, but there were big differences between the counties. A parcel means agricultural land completely surrounded by land belonging to other properties. A field is a contiguous agricultural area bounded by roads, streams, forests etc. A parcel consists of one or more fields. In Eastern Norway the parcels were biggest, while the smallest were in the counties of Agder. The size of the parcels and the fields is one out of several factors that determine how effective the area can be operated. Usually it is more time-consuming to operate a split up area compared with one big area or field. On the other hand, from an environmental point of view it is more desirable with an agricultural landscape consisting of more split-up and heterogeneous areas.

More results

This article is for the moment the last article that comments final results from the 1999 agricultural census. Since December 2000 the results have been presented in a series of articles about each county. By clicking at "Previous articles" to the left, all the articles with attached tables will appear. Detailed figures for the municipalities are presented in the attached tables, and in the Norwegian pages "Fakta om kommunene". By contacting Statistics Norway, it is possible to get more results, or to group the results in other ways.

In May/June paper-publications with figures at country-, county- and at municipality level will be published.