Towards a Non-agricultural Countryside? Rural and Agricultural Population in the National Census 2002
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Recent rural and agricultural change in Poland has been analyzed in this paper. We have particularly focused on the direction of this change. We wondered whether despite the particular historical development of the Polish agriculture, there is a noticeable formation of the typical market-oriented farming and non-agricultural economic activities among rural inhabitants. The answer to such a question has been sought in the analysis of economic activity as well as changes in agrarian structure. The National Census 2002 data show that agriculture is no longer the major source of income for the significant part of the rural population. Moreover, the other large part of this population derives the income from welfare and other kinds of benefits. At the same time, the changes in the agrarian structure show the processes of diversification of farms (the disappearing middle), concentration of land in larger farms, increasing level of farm mechanization, increasing average size of landholdings as well as the declining number of them.
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