Diminishing Number of Farmers

Hartwig HKD

Photo Credit: Hartwig HKD

Claim:  “There are so few farmers in the United States now that they’re not even included as an occupation in the census…We are less than 1% of the population and yet we’re expected to feed more and more and more people.”


There are very few occupations specifically listed in the census.  There is, however, a farming, fishing and forestry occupation group, as well as a space for write-ins.  Here’s the list of 23 occupation groups listed on the Census Bureau website:

1 Management occupations

2 Business and financial operations occupations

3 Computer and mathematical science occupations

4 Architecture and engineering occupations

5 Life, physical, and social science occupations

6 Community and social service occupation

7 Legal occupations

8 Education, training, and library occupations

9 Arts, design, entertainment, sports, and media occupations

10 Healthcare practitioner and technical occupations

11 Healthcare support occupations

12 Protective service occupations

13 Food preparation and serving related occupations

14 Building and grounds cleaning and maintenance occupations

15 Personal care and service occupations

16 Sales and related occupations

17 Office and administrative support occupations

18 Farming, fishing, and forestry occupations

19 Construction and extraction occupations

20 Installation, maintenance, and repair occupations

21 Production occupations

22 Transportation and material moving occupations

23 Armed Forces

Additionally, the Environmental Protection Agency states that while about 2% of the US population lives on farms, only 1% claim farming as their occupation.

Links to sources:

U.S. Census Bureau’s “About Occupations” Page

Census Occupation Codes by the Census Bureau

The Environmental Protection Agency’s Agricultural Demographics Page

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