One in four farms disappeared between 2003 and 2013 in the European Union (EU), figures from Eurostat show.

This is despite the area used for agriculture remaining the same, according to Eurostat.

In the EU, there were 10.8m farms in 2013 working 174.6m hectares of land (the utilised agricultural area).

Between 2003 and 2013, slightly more than 4m farm holdings disappeared in the EU, while the total area used for agriculture remained almost stable.

According to Eurostat, this means increasing agricultural concentration, with the average area per holding growing by 38%, from 11.7ha in 2003 to 16.1ha in 2013.

Of the 10.8m farms in the EU, almost 3.5m (31.1%) were managed by persons aged 65 or over, the figures show.

A further 2.6m (24.7%) were managed by farmers aged between 55 and 64, while those younger than 35 accounted for 6.0% of all farm managers.

In 2013, the highest average utilised agricultural areas per holding were registered in the Czech Republic
(with 133.0ha) followed by the UK (93.6ha).

Between 2003 and 2013, the number of holdings decreased in all EU Member States, except Ireland where they increased by 2.9%.

The largest decrease in the number of holdings was Slovakia where there was a decrease of 67.1%. In the UK the number of farm holdings decreased by 34%.

This information, published by Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union, comes from provisional
results of the latest EU farm structure survey.