Agriculture–Population Linkage Data

Release date: November 27, 2018

2016 Census of Agriculture

Logo - Agriculture–Population Linkage Data
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Canada's farm population continues to evolve much like agricultural operations have done. Due to the increased automation, sophistication, and expanding size of agricultural operations, the absolute number of operations across the country has been declining. So, too has the farm population. Overall, from 1971 to 2016, the farm population declined by 62.7%, falling to 592,975 persons.

With the integration of automation, the reliance of agricultural operations on manual labour has dissipated over time. While declining birth rates have influenced the size of the household, the reduction in demand for manual labour on agricultural operations may also have impacted the size of the farm household.

From 1971 to 2016, the average size of the farm household decreased by 35.5% to 2.8 persons.

Not only are farm households smaller, but their total household incomes is higher than households in the total population. In 1971, the total median income of farm households was 51.2% lower than households within the total population. By, 2016, the median total income of farm households was $82,456, 17.3% higher than the total population median income.

And just like the total population, more of the farm population is residing in urban areas. In 1971, 7.9% of the farm population lived in urban areas and by 2016, that figure had risen to 16.1%.

Thirteen tables from the 2016 agriculture–population linkage are available free of charge.

The Agriculture Stats Hub

This dynamic web application provides access to the Agriculture–Population Linkage Data and allows for viewing national and provincial socioeconomic highlights of the farm population using maps, tables, charts and indicators.


Canadian farm operators: An educational portrait
The socioeconomic portrait of Canada's evolving farm population
Canada's immigrant farm population

Data quality

Census dictionary:

Census farm
Farm operator
Rural area
Rural farm population
Population centres
Census family
Economic family
Mother tongue
Labour force


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