Data Shows Explosive Recent Growth in U.S. Farmers Markets

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) was tasked with data basing Farmers Markets, beginning in 1994. The directory was updated every two years through 2008. In 2009, the process changed to a yearly rite. Here's the breakdown:

  • Number of Farmers Markets in 1994 - 1,755
  • Number of Farmers Markets in 1996 - 2,410
  • Number of Farmers Markets in 1998 - 2,746
  • Number of Farmers Markets in 2000 - 2,863
  • Number of Farmers Markets in 2002 - 3,137
  • Number of Farmers Markets in 2004 - 3,706
  • Number of Farmers Markets in 2006 - 4,385
  • Number of Farmers Markets in 2008 - 4,685
  • Number of Farmers Markets in 2009 - 5,274

The obvious striking detail in this list is the rising numbers in every year reported. In fact, the number of Farmers Markets has more than tripled since 1994. This is a very good trend indeed, but further examination appears to provide further reason for optimism. Note the years and numbers listed in bold. These represent the three reporting periods with the largest growth in numbers. The biggest increase occurred from 2004 to 2006 - 679 more markets - followed by 1994 to 1996 - 655 more markets.

Here's where it gets more interesting. The year 2009 saw an increase of 589 markets, which puts it in a close third place on the list in terms of aggregate growth, but this number represents a mere one year reporting period, as opposed to all previous reporting periods, which covered two years. When projected over two years, under any reasonable scenario, the current growth rate obliterates all predecessors.

Here's where you come in. Support your local Farmers Market as a customer and/or as a vendor. Local Harvest is one great tool to seek out markets in your area.


Related Reading:

Can You Patent Life-Saving Nutrition?
Fast Food Oil-Coating Improves Smart Roofing

Follow us on Twitter!


1 comment

If you see any unhelpful comments, please let us know immediately.

Thanks for nice cite of our USDA farmers market data, Doug. Please note that we have just launched a new update of our farmers market online directory, which should be completed this August. Our upgraded national farmers market search engine is available to the public at

Written in April 2010

Add a comment
  • to get your picture next to your comment (not a member yet?).
  • Posted on April 24, 2010. Listed in:

    See other articles written by Doug »

    1 comment

    Pledge to do these related actions

    Commit to not eating any fish on the WWF's red list, 113°

    Seafood is healthy, and one of humanity's great sources of protein. If we are to ...

    Catch and Release!, 71°

    For all the fishing women and men out there. Whether you catch a little rainbow ...

    Volunteer at a community garden , 10°

    Commit some volunteer hours to helping out community gardens and/or urban farms this spring and ...

    Follow these related projects

    One Million Gardens

    All Over the Place, United States

    Featured Companies & Orgs