The Soviet Polish population, like the population of Poland, was overwhelmingly rural in the past and, strongly attached to the land, has been slow to urbanize. Soviet Poles were primarily landowning farmers until the 1930s, when the Soviet state began collectivization. These farms were mostly small (many only a few hectares), and generally consisted of scattered plots rather than consolidated holdings. The farms were usually nonspecialized peasant farms on which tenants grew vegetables and grains and raised some livestock; labor was provided by family members, who used horses for plowing.
In spite of the deportations of the 1930s, the attachment of many Poles to their land and to their particular locality remains powerful. Many Poles have remained in their native regions, where they continue to work the land.