Agricultural population in India has grown by a massive 50% between 1980-2011, the highest for any country in this period. India is followed by China and the US, which saw it drop by 37% and 33% respectively due to mechanisation, says the Worldwatch Institute. The economically active US farm population declined by 37 % due to large-scale mechanisation, improved crop varieties, fertilisers, pesticides and subsidies, which have improved the economies of scale and consolidation.
Global farm population, defined as persons dependent on farming, hunting, fishing, and forestry for living - made up 37 % of the global population in 2011. This is a decrease of 12 % from 1980, when the global farm and non-farm populations were roughly the same size. Although the agricultural population decreased as a share of the total between 1980- 2011, it grew numerically from 220 crore to 260 crore.
A combination of migration to cities and farm consolidation caused a decline in farm populations in Europe and the Americas between 1980-2011: by 66 % in Europe, 45 % in North America, 35 % in South America, 13 % in Central America and 7 % in the Caribbean.