Swiss Federal Research Station for Agricultural Economics and Engineering, Tänikon

Agriculture and rural areas

The Swiss constitution prescribes that agriculture has to contribute to an even population in the rural countryside. This paper examines by the means of a regression analysis to which extent enterprises in the three economic sectors contribute to population dynamics in rural communities. Although agricultural enterprises have much less employees than enterprises in the industry or service sector, full-time farms contribute to the same degree to population development as enterprises in the secondary or tertiary sector. This confirms the central role of farming for rural population development.

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