An average of 9,264,000 persons lived on farms in rural areas of the United States in the 12-month period centered on April 1974. This was a decline of 208,000 from a year earlier. Although not statistically significant, the drop represents an apparent continuation of a longtime downward trend. Since 1970, the farm population has declined at an average annual rate of 1.2 percent. The South continues to be the heaviest loser of farm population among U.S. regions. For the 1970-74 period, the average net loss to the farm population through migration and reclassification of residence from farm to nonfarm was 143,000 per year.