The "Decline or Demise" of U.S. Farming?
In this post on manufacturing's declining share of GDP for both the U.S. and global economies, Scott Grannis writes:
"In this same vein, I would add that agriculture was once about half of total US GDP, whereas now it is only a small fraction, yet we feed ourselves and are a net exporter of food. Here again we see how tremendous productivity gains have enabled us to devote fewer and fewer resources to the production of essential goods. This is as it should be."
MP: The chart above shows agriculture's declining share of U.S. GDP using annual BEA data from 1947-2010. From a high of almost 9% of GDP in 1948, the agriculture sector's share of total output has declined steadily and fell below 1% by 2002. And yet we produce more food today than at any time in history and it's cheaper as a share of disposable income than ever before. Thanks to productivity gains, farm employment today represents only about 2.5% of total employment compared to more than 12% of America's workforce in 1950.