102 | North America and Europe (NAE) Report

Table 3-9. Urban and rural populations in NAE.

Country Population distribution (%), 2004 Average annual rate of change in population (%), 2000-2004
  % Urban % Rural Urban Rural
Austria 66 34 0.05 0.06
Czech Republic 74 26 -0.04 -0.30
Denmark 85 15 0.35 -0.38
Estonia 69 31 -1.30 -0.74
Finland 61 39 0.07 0.37
Georgia 52 48 -1.43 -0.39
Germany 88 12 0.27 -1.38
Greece 61 39 0.68 -0.64
Hungary 65 35 0.08 -1.49
Italy 68 32 0.04 -0.33
Netherlands 66 34 1.25 -0.96
Poland 62 38 0.03 -0.25
Romania 54 46 -0.34 -0.09
Spain 77 23 0.34 -0.12
Sweden 83 17 0.09 0.03
Turkey 67 33 2.07 0.06
United Kingdom 89 11 0.38 -0.27
United States 81 19 1.44 -0.74

Source: FAO, 2008b.


farms and the number of farmers and farm workers has also declined dramatically. In 1950 England had a farm labor force of 687,000 people. By 2000, the labor force on farms had declined to 375,000 (Defra, 2006b). Similar trends are apparent in other western European countries. The changes in eastern Europe are more complex as col­lectivization during the communist era greatly reduced the number of farming units in most countries. For example, in East Germany in 1945, all large farms were reduced to 100ha and the rest of the land allocated to farm workers. Some of these private farms survived until 1955, but after the German Democratic Republic was established in 1949, pressure to collectivize them increased. The collectivization was completed in 1955 and after that no private owner­ship of land was permitted. Many of farmers left the land to work in the new factories. Then, following the demise of this system of land management in c. 1990 there has been a variable re-allocation of land to the former own­ers, resulting in fragmentation of the farming units. In turn there has now been re-amalgamation of the small units to create more financially viable enterprises (Bouma et al., 1998).
3.3.5 Equity (benefits, control and access to resources)
Food production per capita has been increasing in the NAE and globally, but major distributional inequalities exist.


Current directions in the development of food systems have fundamentally changed the internal interaction and share of benefits in the food chains, disempowering local rural ac­tors, such as farmers and small-scale processors. The share of retail in the control and benefits in the food chains has increased. Equity in terms of economic benefits and value added AKST has been a factor in enabling rural regions to special­ize in producing and exporting natural resource-based raw materials for, e.g., food industry (Siegel et al., 1995) and enabling local demand to be met with imported food. The value added in production, food processing and food distri­bution has been transferred to urban areas and, increasingly, beyond national borders. Despite this, food production has played a central role in rural vitality and will do for a long time to come (OECD, 1996). The reduction in the number of farms and farm workers has led to out-migration and the break down of some social structures in the rural regions of all industrialized countries in Europe. The transformation to a more advanced stage of indus­trialized farming over the past 60 years has led to signifi­cant increases in productivity with concomitant benefits to many consumers, but it has simultaneously, in many rural areas, had an adverse effect on economic and social vitality and arguably reduced the somewhat idealized independence