A Snapshot of Inequality

What the latest agricultural census reveals about land distribution in Colombia

Colombia carried out its first agricultural census in 45 years in 2014, and the census microdata were only recently made publicly available. This report uses the new data to analyze the problem of land concentration, and thereby hopes to contribute to the current debate on the urgent transformations needed in Colombia’s agrarian sector in the context of peace accord implementation. It finds that 1% of the largest landholdings now occupy 81% of productive land and that this extreme inequality has grown worse over the past half century. It also signals the weaknesses in gender statistics, the conflicts in land use, the predominance of extensive cattle farming and the core problem of land grabbing and its non-productive use. And it hones in on the Altillanura region, in the spotlight as the country’s new agricultural frontier, where controversial legislative reforms may further exacerbate the concentration of land.