2022 Census of Agriculture: Number of U.S. farms falls below 2 million

Line chart showing number of farms, land in farms, and average acres per farm between 1850 and 2022.

The number of farms in the United States has fallen below 2 million for the first time since before the Civil War, according to the recently released 2022 Census of Agriculture. In 2022, there were 1,900,487 farms in the country, a 7-percent decline from the level reported in the 2017 Census. A farm is defined as an establishment that produced and sold, or would have sold in normal conditions, at least $1,000 in agricultural production in a year. The Census of Agriculture, conducted every 5 years by USDA, National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS), includes producer responses to questions about their farming operations. The latest Census also reported that the total U.S. land in farms declined 2.2 percent to 880 million acres in 2022. This decline, when combined with the higher proportional decline in the number of farms, meant that the average farm size increased by 5 percent to 463 acres per farm. For more details from the 2022 Census of Agriculture, see the NASS Census of Agriculture website. For more information on farm structure and its relationship with agriculture, as well as other statistics on the financial performance of farms and ranches, see USDA, Economic Research Service’s recent report America’s Farms and Ranches at a Glance: 2023 Edition, published in December 2023, which draws on data from the NASS Agricultural Resources Management Survey of farm operations in 2022.

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