Census of Agriculture for Outlying Areas


The Census of Agriculture provides the most detailed and comprehensive data about on agriculture in Guam, the Virgin Islands, American Samoa, and the Northern Mariana Islands (collectively referred to the outlying areas). The census collects data on all agriculture operations, operators, and land.

The Census of Agriculture for Outlying Areas is conducted in Guam, the Virgin Islands, American Samoa, and the Northern Mariana Islands. Each is treated as a separate census. In Guam and the Northern Mariana Islands, the target population is all farms which sell or would normally sell $1,000 or more of agricultural products in the census year. In the Virgin Islands, the target is all farms which sell or would normally sell $500 or more of agricultural products. In American Samoa, the target is all households producing agricultural products for sale or family consumption.

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Program Content

The census is designed to obtain data on a totally exhaustive list of commodities. A separate questionnaire is developed for each locality. All census questionnaires are designed with open-ended questions to allow respondents to report every item produced on the farm, even the rarest of commodities. The census also collects expense, income, and agricultural Practices data. Operator characteristics such as race, gender, age, tenure on the farm, and operating arrangement are also collected. NASS works with each local government to develop questionnaire content.


The Census of Agriculture for Outlying Areas is conducted every five years concurrent with the U.S. census of agriculture (years ending in 3 and 8), except American Samoa which is done one year later. Due to the Fiscal Year 2013 sequestration impact on the census program, data collection was eliminated for censuses in outlying areas including the elimination of the 2012 Census of Agriculture in Guam, U.S. Virgin Islands, American Samoa, and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (Volume 1, Geographic Area Series, Parts 53-56).


The government in each locality assists with the census under a Memorandum of Understanding with NASS. Data collection occurs in January and February. The reference period is the calendar year preceding the data collection period.

Each locality develops a list of farm operations from a variety of sources. Enumerators are assigned a region and provided with all names on the list for that region. All data are collected through personal interview. When a farm is found to be out of business, enumerators determine the disposition of the farm and follow up with new operators when necessary. For American Samoa, in addition to enumerating the list of known commercial farms, a sample of all households is enumerated to account for production used for family consumption.


The Volume 1, Geographic Area Series for each locality is released during the year following data collection. Individual Publications are Part 53, Guam; Part 54, U.S. Virgin Islands; Part 55, American Samoa; and Part 56, Northern Mariana Islands. Farm counts and totals are published for every item. Subdomain and cross tabulations are made for many items.


The census numbers provide the most detailed information on the structure and changes occurring in agriculture in each locality. Governments use the data to evaluate policy and legislation, to administer programs and services, and to study trends in agriculture. Producers and other agricultural businesses use the data for planning, marketing, and research.

Related Programs

Census of Agriculture

Last Modified: 04/18/2024