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FARM indicates whether the household was a farm household.


The methods for identifying farms in the CPS changed over time. For 1962-1967, interviewers asked whether the housing unit was on 10 or more acres of land and about the value of sales from livestock, crops, and other farm products in the last 12 months. Presumably, when the data were coded by Census Bureau employees, the definition of farm matched that used in the 1960 census: 1) households on 10+ acres that yielded $50+ in produce, or 2) households on fewer than 10 acres that yielded $250+ in produce.

Beginning in 1977, the CPS, like the 1970 census, did not count households in urban areas as farms. Up through 1988, CPS interviewers continued to determine whether a rural housing unit was on 10 or more acres of land and the value of sales from farm products. Beginning in 1989, the survey questionnaire no longer asked about acreage, and only determined whether farm sales for rural households were $1000+.

For 1977-1984, the original CPS data set distinguished between farms of 10+ acres and those with fewer than 10 acres. This suggests that the same criteria mentioned above (10+ acres with $50+ sales, or fewer than 10 acres with $250+ sales) were used to determine farm status. These same criteria were used in the 1970 census.

In 1985, the original CPS codebook identified "farm with sales greater than $1000." This suggests that the farm criteria used in 1980-2000 censuses and the ACS (non-urban households with $1000+ in produce) were used in the survey after the mid 1980s.

Comparability with IPUMS-USA

The criteria used in the census to define farms were followed by the CPS, sometimes after a time lag. For example, as the discussion above indicates, the 1980 census definition of farms as units with $1000+ sales of produce was not put in place until the mid-1980s.


  • All households and group quarters.


Years Jan Feb ASEC Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
1962 – 1967 - - X - - - - - - - - -
1977 – 1992 - - X - - - - - - - - -


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