An average of 8,253,000 persons lived on farms in rural areas of the United States in the 12-month period centered on April 1976. The North Central Region, with 3.8 million persons living on farms, is the most populous; the South, with 2.9 million farm residents, ranks second. The 1976 estimate of U.S. farm population was almost 1.5 million (or 15 percent) lower than in 1970. For the 1970-76 period, the average net loss of farm population through migration or reclassification of residence from farm to nonfarm was about 270,000 annually. The average rate of this net outflow was 2.9 percent. The United States and all geographic regions and divisions had a significant decline in both the volume and rate of farm outmovement during 1970-76 as compared to earlier years. Of the four major U.S. geographic regions, only the West registered a farm population increase since 1970.