Total money income typically is used to indicate the relative economic status of people. A family with total money income below some commonly recognized standard may be deemed to be poor. For example, the official low-income standard is the benchmark used by most analysts to indicate persons in poverty . Historically, the proportion of farm people with low incomes has been greater than that for nonfarm people. In the 1960's, however, the income gap between farm and nonfarm people narrowed due primarily to increased off-farm income . Growth in off-farm income in recent years ranks among several major changes affecting families in the farming sector [3, 5, 7, 8, 9, 10, 12, 13, 16].
We recognize that the concept of economic status is multi-dimensional including elements other than current money income. Some of these include aspects of permanent income , net worth , and the general quality of life [1, 6].