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The National Agricultural Workers Survey

Major Findings:

  • Over time the farmworker population has become increasingly male (now 80% are men).
  • Over time the population has become increasing foreign born (now 70% are foreign born).
  • Farmworkers are very young (2/3 are less than 35) and almost one fifth are in their first year of US farm work.
  • Most adult foreign farmworkers are married and have children.
  • Most foreign born farm workers with families live and work separately from their spouses and children.
  • Most foreign farmworkers live with non-relatives.
  • Most (3/5th) farmworkers are poor; and the proportion seems to be increasing over time.
  • Despite their poverty few use social services.
  • About 100,000 foreign-born eligble farmworker households may be excluded from each of the major programs such as food stamps, Medicaid and WIC due to legislation passed by the 104th Congress.
  • The proportion of unauthorized rose quickly as citizens and the newly legalized population left. In the 1994-1995 period, 37% of farmworkers were unauthorized, up from 7% in 1989.