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European rural areas: decrease of poverty rate

Between 2016 and 2017, poverty rates in rural areas continued to decrease, reaching 24% in 2017 according to the latest update of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) indicators.

The indicators have shown positive development in relation to the CAP. Indeed, as for rural areas, the latest data shows that poverty rates decreased by 2% between 2016 and 2017 (from 26% to 24%). Simultaneously, the employment rate in rural areas increased by 2% in the same period, from 66% to 68%.

Other positive developments can also be noticed: 

  • Ecological focus areas have slightly increased between 2016 and 2017, going from 11.1 million hectares in 2016 to 11.4 million hectares in 2017;
  • Increase of ammonia emissions from agriculture has slowed down, stabilising at 3.61 million tonnes in 2016, from 3.60 million tonnes in 2015;
  • The share of organic farming area : In 2016, it represented 6.7% of total farming area in the EU. In 2017, it reached 7% of total farming area, representing 12.6 million hectares of farming area.
The EAFRD has also been a significant element in the development of rural areas.


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