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Ranked: Number of Agricultural Workers by Country

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agricultural workers in the most populated countries

Ranked: Number of Agricultural Workers by Country

Agriculture has long been the backbone of human civilization, providing sustenance and livelihood to billions of people across the globe.

As of 2021, an estimated 27% of the global workforce was employed in agriculture, though the sector represents only 4% of global GDP.

The graphic above uses 2019 employment and population data from the World Bank to rank the distribution of agricultural workers in the world’s most populated countries.

Asia and Africa Have the Most Agricultural Workers

Being the most populous countries, India and China lead the ranking with 272 million and 229 million people employed in agriculture, respectively:

RankCountryAgricultural Workers
(2019)
% of Total
Workers
1๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡ณ India 272M43%
2๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡ณ China 229M25%
3๐Ÿ‡ช๐Ÿ‡น Ethiopia 59M66%
4๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡ฉ Indonesia 51M29%
5๐Ÿ‡ต๐Ÿ‡ฐ Pakistan 40M36%
6๐Ÿ‡ณ๐Ÿ‡ฌ Nigeria 40M35%
7๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡ฉ DRC36M63%
8๐Ÿ‡ง๐Ÿ‡ฉ Bangladesh 36M39%
9๐Ÿ‡น๐Ÿ‡ฟ Tanzania32M65%
10๐Ÿ‡ป๐Ÿ‡ณ Vietnam 27M38%
11๐Ÿ‡ฐ๐Ÿ‡ช Kenya19M53%
12๐Ÿ‡ฒ๐Ÿ‡ฒ Myanmar16M50%
13๐Ÿ‡น๐Ÿ‡ญ Thailand15M32%
14๐Ÿ‡ต๐Ÿ‡ญ Philippines15M23%
15๐Ÿ‡ง๐Ÿ‡ท Brazil11M9%
16๐Ÿ‡ฒ๐Ÿ‡ฝ Mexico9M12%
17๐Ÿ‡ช๐Ÿ‡ฌ Egypt 8M20%
18๐Ÿ‡น๐Ÿ‡ท Tรผrkiye7M18%
19๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡ท Iran6M18%
20๐Ÿ‡ท๐Ÿ‡บ Russia 5M6%
21๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ U.S.3M2%
22๐Ÿ‡ฏ๐Ÿ‡ต Japan3M4%
23๐Ÿ‡ซ๐Ÿ‡ท France0.9M3%
24๐Ÿ‡ฉ๐Ÿ‡ช Germany0.6M1%
25๐Ÿ‡ฌ๐Ÿ‡ง UK0.4M1%

Though countries in Africa have fewer agricultural workers, they have a far greater share of agriculture in employment. Ethiopia (66%) and Tanzania (65%) had the highest share of agricultural workers amongst the most populated countries, with other low income and lower-middle income African countries close behind.

In fact, McKinsey estimates that more than 60% of sub-Saharan Africa’s entire population consists of smallholder farmers, with about 23% of sub-Saharan Africaโ€™s GDP coming directly from agriculture.

In contrast, agriculture represents significantly less employment in high-income countries. The U.S. and Japan both have an estimated 3 million agricultural workers, accounting for only 3% and 4% of the total employed population, respectively.

In terms of gender balance, women on average represent 37% of all agricultural workers, with a majority share in just 20 countries within Africa and Asia.

Evolution of Agricultural Jobs Over Time

Over the past century, agricultural workers have declined in number due to technological advances, urban migration, land use changes, and economic diversification.

global workforce in agriculture

Source: FAO

However, they still represent a quarter of the global workforce and even with the modernization of agriculture, workers are still necessary to meet a growing demand.

For instance, a study in Bioscience has suggested that agricultural production will need to increase by at least 25% to meet the food demands of the world’s population by 2050.

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Agriculture

Charted: Global Wheat Production, by Country

Wheat production is largely diversified around the world, though three major producers emerge: China, India, and Russia.

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A cropped chart with the per country breakdown of global wheat production, based on data from the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (UN FAO).

Charted: 800 Million Tonnes of Wheat Production by Country

This was originally posted on our Voronoi app. Download the app for free on iOS or Android and discover incredible data-driven charts from a variety of trusted sources.

Global wheat production crossed 800 million tonnes in 2022, which makes it the second-most cultivated grain after corn.

From different kinds of noodles to all the varieties of breads, wheat is a staple crop for a dizzying array of diets across countries. But who grows the most and by how much?

This graphic breaks down the worldโ€™s largest wheat producers in 2022, based on data from the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (UN FAO).

Ranked: Global Wheat Producers in 2022

Wheat production is largely diversified around the world, though three major producers emerge: China, India, and Russia. All produce upwards of 100 million tonnes per year.

According to data from the OEC, Russiaโ€™s top export destinations for its wheat are Tรผrkiye (35%) and Egypt (29%).

RankCountryWheat Production
(2022, Tonnes)
Region
1๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡ณ China (mainland)138MAsia
2๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡ณ India108MAsia
3๐Ÿ‡ท๐Ÿ‡บ Russia104MEurope
4๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ U.S.45MAmericas
5๐Ÿ‡ฆ๐Ÿ‡บ Australia36MOceania
6๐Ÿ‡ซ๐Ÿ‡ท France35MEurope
7๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡ฆ Canada34MAmericas
8๐Ÿ‡ต๐Ÿ‡ฐ Pakistan26MAsia
9๐Ÿ‡ฉ๐Ÿ‡ช Germany23MEurope
10๐Ÿ‡ฆ๐Ÿ‡ท Argentina22MAmericas
11๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ฆ Ukraine21MEurope
12๐Ÿ‡น๐Ÿ‡ท Tรผrkiye20MAsia
13๐Ÿ‡ฐ๐Ÿ‡ฟ Kazakhstan16MAsia
14๐Ÿ‡ฌ๐Ÿ‡ง UK15MEurope
15๐Ÿ‡ต๐Ÿ‡ฑ Poland13MEurope
N/A๐ŸŒ Rest of World152MOther
N/A๐ŸŒ Total808MWorld

Note: Figures are rounded.

Ukraine (21 million tonnes) is also a key wheat producer (#11) and exporter. Its outbound shipments dropped rapidly after the Russian invasion, sending food prices soaring. The Ukrainian government has since established new export routes that hug the Black Seaโ€™s western coastline, where the waters are too shallow for attacking submarines.

Meanwhile the U.S. is the biggest wheat producer (45 million tonnes) from the Americas, ranked 5th overall. North Dakota, Kansas, Washington are some of the top producers by state.

A quick look at the list of top wheat producing countries reveals a mostly even split between Europe and Asia, two continents with wildly different weather patterns and climates.

Unlike rice, which requires hot, humid weather, wheat is a versatile crop, and grows everywhere (except Antarctica). It has the highest protein percent and the third-highest energy content of all grains. Crucially it does not require a lot of water to grow, helping it thrive in otherwise dry climates.

More From Visual Capitalist

If you enjoyed this article, check out Charted: 776 Million Tonnes of Rice Production by Country for insights into which nations lead the rice producers’ ranks.

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