Average Age of Farmers


Average of farm operators reported in the Census of Agriculture

Methods and Limitations:

Up to three operators can be reported per farm. This is a count of distinct operators; hence, operators of two or more separate farms are included only once in the total.

The “census farm” concept of the Census of Agriculture refers to a unit that produces agricultural products and reports revenues or expenses for tax purposes to the Canada Revenue Agency.

Agricultural products include:

  • Crops: grains, oilseeds, leguminous crops, potatoes, vegetables, fruits, berries, greenhouse products, mushrooms, sod, nursery, Christmas trees, maple tree taps, hay and fodder crops, cannabis, hemp and other crops.
  • Livestock: dairy and beef cattle (including feedlots), pigs, poultry and eggs (including hatcheries), turkeys, ducks, geese, sheep, goats, horses and other equines, bison (buffalo), elk (wapiti), deer, llamas and alpacas, rabbits, mink, bees and other animals.

Not included are: forestry and logging, hunting and trapping, fishing and aquaculture, support activities for agriculture and post-harvest activities, horse boarding and riding lessons, operations producing products that are not for human consumption (e.g. genetic operations, insect farms for pet food).

The new 2021 “census farm” definition is applied uniformly throughout Canada. Before 2021, farms located in the territories could report certain activities on the census that were not included in the standard census farm definition used by farms located in the provinces (e.g., herding wild animals, breeding sled dogs, horse outfitting and rigging, and harvesting indigenous plants and berries). Additionally, businesses growing and harvesting cannabis plants are considered agricultural operations and are included in the new 2021 census farm definition.

For the 1991, 1996, 2001, 2006, 2011 and 2016 censuses, a “census farm” was defined as an agricultural operation which produced at least one agricultural product intended for sale. The definition did not include a minimum sales condition, as in previous censuses.


2021: Statistics Canada. Table 32-10-0381-01  Characteristics of farm operators: age, sex and number of operators on the farm, Census of Agriculture, 2021

2016 & 2011: Statistics Canada. Table 32-10-0442-01  Farm operators classified by number of operators per farm and age


Average Age of Farmers in the Sustainable Development Goals

Click on the SDG to reveal more information

2. End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture
2. End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture

2. End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture

It is time to rethink how we grow, share and consume our food.

If done right, agriculture, forestry and fisheries can provide nutritious food for all and generate decent incomes, while supporting people-centred rural development and protecting the environment.

Right now, our soils, freshwater, oceans, forests and biodiversity are being rapidly degraded. Climate change is putting even more pressure on the resources we depend on, increasing risks associated with disasters such as droughts and floods. Many rural women and men can no longer make ends meet on their land, forcing them to migrate to cities in search of opportunities.

A profound change of the global food and agriculture system is needed if we are to nourish today’s 815 million hungry and the additional 2 billion people expected by 2050.

The food and agriculture sector offers key solutions for development, and is central for hunger and poverty eradication.