One third of farm householders are 65 and older

A bar chart showing the age distribution of U.S. and farm householders in 2009.

In 2009, about 30 percent of principal farm operators were age 65 or older. The average age of farm operators was 57 in the 2007 Census of Agriculture, and has been greater than 50 since at least the 1950 Census. The age structure of U.S. households in general is much younger. One reason for the advanced age structure of farmers is the farm's status as the family home. More than 20 percent of farm operators report they are retired. Senior farmers adjust to farming in a variety of ways, such as operating their farms at a smaller scale or participating in the Conservation Reserve Program. This chart is from the Farm Household Economics and Well-Being briefing room, November 2010.

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