Continuing an 18-year trend, the number of farmers markets registered with the U.S. Department of Agriculture [USDA] has risen to 7,864. In 1994, there were 1,744, reports Tracie Cone, with the Associated Press.
As Bump notes, the continued double-digit growth in the number of markets is remarkable. "Normally, you'd expect this to drop quickly as the total number of markets increases - it's easier to grow 50 percent from 10 stores (requiring only five new ones) than it is from 1,000 stores (500 new ones)."
According to Cone, California and New York are the far-and-away leaders in the total number of markets. "California, the country's top agricultural producing state, has 827 markets, according to the USDA. New York has 647, more than double the next most prolific state, Massachusetts, which has 313."