Highlights from the 2016 Census of Agriculture

July 28, 2017

In May 2017, Statistics Canada released data from the 2016 Census of Agriculture.

Statistics Canada conducts the census every five years. The information collected offers a statistical portrait of Canada's farms, and its farm operators. The census gathers detailed data on farms, including crop area, number of livestock, employees, quantity and value of farm machinery, farm expenses and receipts, land management practices, and use of technology.

Census data help provincial and federal governments and farming organizations make informed decisions about business management strategies and agricultural policies, programs and services that affect farmers and rural communities.

Key findings from the 2016 census

  • There were 193,492 farms in Canada on Census Day, May 10, 2016. Although the number of farms in Canada has been decreasing over the last 75 years, the rate of decline from 2011 to 2016 was the lowest it has been in the last 20 years, at 5.9%.
  • The average size of farms has increased—to an average of 820 acres in 2016 from 779 acres in 2011.
  • Canadian farmers are getting older. The average age of a farm operator is 55. There was an increase in the number of farmers under 35.
  • The proportion of female farm operators continues to increase. Female farm operators increased from 27.4% in 2011 to 28.7% in 2016.
  • The value of land and buildings used by agricultural operations increased by 37.5% from 2011 to 2016—from $311.2 billion to $427.9 billion.
  • Gross farm receipts totaled $69.4 billion in 2015, while operating expenses reached $57.5 billion.

Find out more

Visit Statistics Canada's 2016 Census of Agriculture page.


Get more Agri-info