Sources & Methods


The European Statistics on the structure of agriculture holdings is collected according to the Regulation (EU) 2018/1091 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 18 July 2018 on integrated farm statistics and repealing Regulations (EC) No 1166/2008 and (EU) No 1337/2011 and implemented by the Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) 2018/1874 of 29 November 2018 on data to be provided for 2020.  

Statistical data is collected on land use and its utilisation, irrigation, soil management practices, livestock numbers, animal housing and manure management, rural development, labour force and other gainful activities, and machinery and equipment. 

Methodological description

The Census of Agriculture is conducted every ten years, in years ending with “0”. The census is complemented by sample surveys which are carried out every 3 years in between.

A letter is sent in advance to the farmers in which they are informed about the mode of data collection and the variables which will be collected. 

In 2020, the census was conducted in collaboration with the Agriculture Directorate within the Ministry for Agriculture, Fisheries, Food and Animal Rights. 

For the Census of Agriculture, data collection was carried out through CAPI (Computer Assisted Personnel Interview) through either face-to-face or telephone interviewing in conformity with the health measures implemented due to the Covid-19. The data had a reference date for livestock statistics set at 30 September 2020, while the reference period for crop cultivation, land use and the agricultural labour force covered the period from 1 September 2019 to 31 August 2020.

Agricultural registers relating to agricultural land and livestock were used in order to ensure that the whole agriculture population was included in the census. 

Accuracy and reliability of data

Further information about accuracy and reliability of data can be viewed from the quality reports available on the NSO’s metadata website.  

Timeliness and punctuality of data

A news release is published every ten years following the Census of Agriculture. These are published on the NSO’s website as scheduled in the Advance Release Calendar.  

Data is always collected and sent to Eurostat within the stipulated timeframes.

Accessibility and clarity of data

A quality report of the data collection is compiled according to an established structure and sent to Eurostat. 

A publication related to the Census of Agriculture is also disseminated every 10 years following the collection of the data.  

Coherence and comparability / consistency of data

Data collected from the Census is comparable with data from other European Union member states, as the Integrated farm statistics manual – 2020, included all the necessary information on methodology and classification as well as details on transmission, validation, and quality reporting which all Member States were required to follow in order to ensure comparability and consistency of data.

Other Documents Date Format
Census of Agriculture 2020
Inflation Calculator News releases calendar Request for Information NACE Code queries
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