Degree of self-sufficiency

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The degree of self-sufficiency is an economic indicator that indicates the domestic production of products as a percentage of their consumption .


With the self-sufficiency rate is to be determined to what extent the domestic production enough domestically to domestic demand in order to self-sufficiency to cover . It is calculated by comparing gross domestic production with consumption :


As consumption ( english consumption ) is defined as the consumption of goods and services for the purpose of direct or indirect gratification . A degree of self-sufficiency of 100% is optimal, it means complete self-sufficiency . Products below 100% have to be imported from abroad , above 100% leads to an export or storage . Import dependency can lead to political and / or economic dependence on foreign countries and has a negative impact on the balance of payments , resulting in a balance of payments deficit . If goods are consumed that cannot be produced in the country itself (for example tropical fruits in industrialized countries ), the degree of self-sufficiency is 0%.

The level of self-sufficiency does provide information about what proportion of the food consumed in the country comes from domestic production, but does not answer two topics:

  • Despite the high degree of self-sufficiency in agricultural products, some people suffer from hunger because of poverty because they simply cannot afford the food.
  • The volatility of the degree of self-sufficiency does not allow any conclusions to be drawn as to whether sufficient self-sufficiency will still be possible in the future - for example in the event of poor harvests.

Whether agricultural protectionism can contribute to greater security of supply is irrelevant.


The degree of self-sufficiency plays an important role, especially in agriculture . Here it is determined for individual agricultural products to what extent they can cover domestic consumption. The Common Agricultural Policy of the EU names security of supply as one of the important goals and names the Community preference - i.e. a preference for agricultural products produced in the EU - to increase the degree of self-sufficiency as one of the principles here.

The degree of self-sufficiency in agricultural production in Germany developed as follows for some agricultural products :

Agricultural product 1978
Grain 84.0 129.0 112.4
Potatoes 94.0 108.0 148.0
sugar 129.0 136.0 161.0
Beef and veal 100.0 161.0 98.2
pork meat 88.0 88.0 119.2
Poultry meat 58.0 64.0 98.9
Eggs 79.0 75.0 71.9
cheese 90.0 107.0 123.9
butter 135.0 79.0 100.0

The degree of self-sufficiency sometimes fluctuates considerably over time, which - with rather constant consumption - can be attributed to weather conditions, which can lead to either record harvests with overproduction or poor harvests with gaps in supply .


For energy sources, the German degree of self-sufficiency fluctuates between the extreme values ​​of 100% and 0%. The lower the degree of self-sufficiency, the higher the dependency on imports . This is associated with risks because, for example, Germany's dependence on imports of natural gas from Russia led to a supply crisis in January 2009 because the dispute between Russia and Ukraine resulted in enormous gas supply bottlenecks . The oil price crises in 1973 and 1979/1980 also triggered supply crises with serious macroeconomic effects.

Energy source Degree of self-sufficiency in
2007 (in%)
Degree of self-sufficiency in
2017 (in%)
Brown coal 100% 100%
natural gas 17% 7%
renewable energy 100% 100%
Nuclear energy 0% 0%
mineral oil 3% 2%
Hard coal 32% 7%

Renewable energies are 100% self-sufficient in Germany, but they only account for 13.1% of primary energy consumption . In contrast, the import dependency of the main energy carriers mineral oil (34.5% share of primary energy consumption) and natural gas (23.8%) is extremely high.



The Swiss according to government 102 Art. Para. 1 Swiss Federal Constitution the order, the National Economic Supply of essential goods and services for the event "and makes political or military threats of severe shortages, which is unable to meet even the economy" ensure . According to the constitution, the federal government has to "take precautionary measures" for this purpose. One such is the operation of so-called compulsory camps .

The level of self-sufficiency in domestic agricultural production is now (2016) 56 percent. This is an average of the degree of self-sufficiency in animal production of 94 percent and in plant production of 45 percent. The current level of self-sufficiency is calculated with a daily per capita consumption of 14,091 kJ .

Development of the degree of self-sufficiency in Switzerland (percentage of calories):

  • 2000: 62%,
  • 2005: 63%,
  • 2010: 60%,
  • 2011: 63%,
  • 2012: 62%,
  • 2015: 59%,
  • 2016: 56%.

During the Second World War, the degree of self-sufficiency in Switzerland, which was enclosed by the warring factions, was increased with the elections plan , in order to protect the Swiss population and the 300,000 or so refugees from hunger and excessive privation. After the Second World War, agriculture was intensified to be able to supply the population, which had grown from 4.7 to 7.5 million between 1950 and 2004.

In 2015, Switzerland had a 3.2 percent self-sufficiency rate for tobacco .


The level of self-sufficiency in Austria for milk in 2016 was 166%, followed by potatoes (136%), meat (108%), beer (104%), apples (95%), wine (90%), cereals (88%), Plums / plums (80%), pears (73%), soybeans (72%), vegetables (57%), oil seeds (45%) or peaches / nectarines (10%).

See also

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. Achim Spiller (ed.), Zukunftsperspektiven der Fleischwirtschaft , 2008, p. 16
  2. Ulrich Koester, Grundzüge der Landwirtschaftlichen Marktlehre , 1981, p. 195 f.
  3. Ulrich Koester, Grundzüge der Landwirtschaftlichen Marktlehre , 1981, p. 355
  4. Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture, Tables on Agriculture , March 2019
  5. SPIEGEL ONLINE from January 6, 2009, Russia swears Germany in a long gas dispute , accessed on August 14, 2019
  6. Arbeitsgemeinschaft Energiebilanzen eV (AGEB), Annual Report 2017: Energy consumption in Germany in 2017 , p. 4 ff.
  7. Statement of the Federal Council of February 28, 2007 ( Memento of the original of September 27, 2007 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was automatically inserted and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /
  8. Federal Statistical Office FSO: Food consumption by type of food. ( Memento of the original from October 31, 2014 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was automatically inserted and not yet checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. Retrieved October 31, 2014. @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /
  9. ↑ Fewer and fewer "tobacco farmers". In: . October 20, 2019, accessed October 20, 2019 .
  10. The standard of October 3, 2017, Agriculture: Austria is largely self-sufficient