The process of diversification of income sources of the rural population is currently one of the main factors determining the pace and direction of the restructuring of rural areas in Poland. The aim of this paper is to provide an answer to the question how - in terms of remuneration, the strategy of diversification of income sources pursued by farmers looks like against the background of strategies of earning money exclusively outside agriculture and against the background of a strategy basing wholly on agricultural sources of income. For the purpose of the presented analysis the authors used a methodology based on matching techniques and data collected during a series of surveys called 'Social Diagnosis' carried out in 2000, 2003 and 2005. The results of these surveys indicate that in the 2003-2005 period the strategy of diversification of activities failed to produce sufficient impulses encouraging farmers to reduce their involvement in agriculture. More attractive - in terms of income, was the strategy of earning money exclusively outside agriculture. However, due to various reasons it did not help ease the problem of agrarian overpopulation to any significant extent.