Freedom 55? Not for farmers

The age of the average P.E.I. farmer hit 55 in 2016.

Older and younger demographics growing in P.E.I. farm community

The average age of P.E.I. farm operators is increasing, but there are also more younger farmers. (Brad Robertson/Facebook)

The age of the average P.E.I. farmer hit 55 in 2016.

The age is up from 54.2 in 2011, according to Statistics Canada's census of agriculture.

Those farmers have eased off on work slightly. In 2015, 47.2 per cent of them were working more than 40 hours a week. In 2010 47.5 per cent did.

Island farmers are still working harder than the average Canadian farmer, with just 37.5 per cent working more than 40 hours weekly.

Youth movement

While the average age is going up, it is not simply all farmers on the Island getting older.

The proportion of farmers aged 55 and over is up, but so is the proportion of farmers aged under 35. The proportion of farmers aged 35 to 54 dropped 10 percentage points.

20112016
Percentage of farm operators by age group
Under 35 years old6.99.4
35 to 54 years old45.835.5
55 years and older47.355.1

Nationally, the average farmer was also 55 years old.