Earnings, Income, and Public Assistance

Agricultural workers had average hourly earnings of $10.18 in 2013-2014, which is an increase of nearly $3.50 an hour over the 15-year period. While the proportion of agricultural workers whose annual total family income was below the poverty line decreased by 22 percentage points, from 51 percent in 1999-2000 to 29 percent in 2013-2014, the proportion of agricultural workers receiving public assistance increased by the same amount (from 34% in 1999-2000 to 56% in 2013-2014). The shares of workers receiving contribution-based (e.g., Social Security, veteran's benefits, unemployment insurance) and need-based (e.g., food stamps, Medicaid, low income housing) assistance remained fairly consistent between the 1999-2000 and 2007-2008 time periods. Since then, the share receiving contribution-based assistance decreased by nearly one-half (from 12% in 2007-2008 to 7% in 2013-2014) and the share receiving need-based assistance increased by more than 40 percent (from 21% in 2007-2008 to 37% in 2013-2014).

Total family annual income below poverty line

To view current and trend data from the NAWS select from the links below:

Attention A T users. Data is presented in three formats, a bar chart, a textual data table, and a line chart. The data is best reviewed though the data table when using A T.

Data Table — Total family annual income below poverty line

Category 99-00 01-02 03-04 05-06 07-08 09-10 11-12 13-14
# % # % # % # % # % # % # % # %
Total family annual income below poverty line3,16151%2,21742%2,49843%1,20939%1,00934%97231%78130%1,11530%

1 The questionnaire was changed to include the "Do not know" option in 2001; it was not offered in 1999 or 2000. A dash (“-“) indicates that the category was not offered during the corresponding time period.

2 Contribution-based includes disability insurance, unemployment insurance, Social Security and Veteran’s pay.

3 Need-based includes food stamps, welfare, TANF, low income housing, public health clinic, Medicaid, WIC, disaster relief, legal services, and other.

a Estimates with relative standard errors (RSEs) greater than 30 percent but no more than 50 percent are published but should be used with caution.

b Estimates based on fewer than four responses or with RSEs greater than 50 percent are considered statistically unreliable and are suppressed.

Trend Lines — Total family annual income below poverty line