Was geschieht auf dem Lande?



A symposium by the Sociographical Society in Frankfurt in July 1953 discussed: What happens in rural areas? Statistics show that, as far as the W. German Republic is concerned, an independent class of farmers no longer exists. In 1950 out of a population of 47.6 million 42.5% were living in towns of less than 5,000 inhabitants. Out of these 20.2 millions no more than 6.7 millions are exclusively occupied with agriculture. Even in those areas which are sparsely populated and where little industry is found, the figure of 35% in agriculture and forestry may be considered high, whereas 33% of the 5 million factory-hands in Western Germany in 1951 worked in rural areas. Importance must be attached to the fact that out of 2 million farms in W. Germany 60% possess less than 5 ha, 80% less than 10 ha, whereas no family can live on less than 5 ha. This is the reason why about 35% of the farms in W. Germany are unprofitable enterprises and why the farmers are forced to find some additional source of income. The accumulation of diverse kinds of wages has become a means to counteract the process of levelling the social standards. H.P.M. Goddijn. Adapted from the source document.


Rural areas; German Democratic Republic; Farms

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