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Land use in Germany

Ongoing decrease in farmland area in Germany

Germany’s farmland area continues to shrink, with the sharpest decline in grassland such as meadows and pasture. This contrasts with an increase in the area taken up by forest/woodland, recreational areas, industrial land, built-up and related land, transport infrastructure and inland waters. There is no sign of a trend reversal.


Agriculture is continuously losing land area at a faster rate than any other form of land use. Between 1992 and 2014, the farmland area decreased by one million hectares (5.4 percent of farmland). Almost all of this decrease related to grassland (meadows and pasture), while the share of arable land stayed more or less constant. The area of forest/woodland in Germany grew by 477,000 hectares during the same period. Recreational areas, industrial land, built-up and related land, transport infrastructure and the area of inland waters likewise increased over this timeframe. There is currently no sign of a trend reversal in this land use change. The decrease in the farmland area brings with it a reduction in habitat for animal and plant species adapted to the agricultural landscape. This applies most of all for species-rich grassland.

More information

Agriculture (BfN-page)

Agriculture and forestry, fisheries (Federal Statistical Office)

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