Saturday 20 April 2013

Average size of holdings

I posted yesterday about the exponential land tax, and that's raised some questions about how it would affect ordinary farms. So as background data, here is some information about the average size of holdings.

TerritoryAverage holding size (Ha)SourceNotes
USA181US Department of AgricultureQuoted as 449 acres
Czech Republic152.4European Commission
Scotland101Scottish Government2010 data
UK70.8European Commission2007 data
Denmark62.9European Commission
Germany55.8European Commission
Sweden43.1European Commission
Netherlands25.9European Commission
Norway21.6European Commission
Italy7.9European Commission

This broadly confirms my belief that the average size of holdings in Scotland is unusually large. My broader argument, of course, is that it is pathologically large, but this post is about data, not argument, so I won't expand on that here. The only country in the EU which currently has an average holding size larger than Scotland's is the Czech Republic, at 152.4 hectares (2010 figures, source European Commission). It's worth noting, however, that across the EU as a whole, the trend in holding size is upwards, and this is particularly true in eastern Europe; the average Czech holding size has doubled in the decade 2000-2010.

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